Tag Archives: children

What’s Your Story?

what is your story question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

Do you have a story you’d like to share about the importance of prenatal care? Have you been involved in a successful program and want to share your story? Do you belong to an organization in Shelby County that could benefit others to ensure their baby is healthy? We are looking for personal stories for the IMRI blog, and we’d like to feature you as a guest blogger! Send an email to ShelbycountyIMRI@gmail.com and someone from our team will be in contact with you.

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Effective February 15, 2016, flu vaccine is now FREE at all Shelby County Health Department clinics

Shirley Jewell

Why the Flu Vaccine?

By: Shirley A. Jewell, BSN, RN

Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) Immunization Program

(901) 222-9329

People have numerous questions concerning the flu and the need to be vaccinated. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year, including pregnant women. According to CDC guidelines, it is recommended that pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester of their pregnancy to protect themselves and their unborn child. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Below are some important questions and answers about the flu.

What is the flu?

The “flu” is a short name for influenza. It is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. The infection is caused by a virus. In the United States “flu season” can begin as early as October and last as long as May. It is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against the flu by October, if not as soon as possible.

How is the flu spread?

The flu is contagious. It spreads mainly when people sneeze or cough and droplets land in the mouth of people close by. Also you can get the flu if an object such as toys, doorknobs or used tissue has the virus on it and the person touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching these objects.

A person can spread the flu to others 1 day before he or she is sick and as long as 5 to 7 days after becoming ill. Children and people who are very sick can spread the flu longer than 7 days after getting sick.

Is the flu serious?

The flu can be mild to serious. It can even lead to death. Anyone can become very sick from the flu but it is most dangerous for babies, young children, pregnant women and people 65 years and older. Also the flu can be serious for those with long term health problems such as asthma, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms can be different depending on age.

The symptoms may include:

  • fever ( everyone may not have a fever with the flu)
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • cough
  • runny or stuffy nose

There may be vomiting and diarrhea in children

What can I do to protect myself and others from the flu?

The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. It protects not only you, but others from getting the flu.

Others ways to protect against the flu, along with the flu shot includes:

  • Cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt or a tissue. Throw the used tissue away.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay away from people that are sick as much as possible
  • If you have the flu, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, without the use of fever medicine such as Tylenol. Leave your home only for emergencies and to get medical care.

Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Shower

Merry Christmas Baby shower flyer - Dec 12 2015On Saturday, December 12, 2015, Tennessee State Rep. G.A. Hardaway Sr. will host the Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Show from 10am to 2pm at Orange Mound Community Center. Part of the fight against infant mortality, this event celebrates our youngest citizens. We expect 150-200 expectant and new mothers and fathers to come out. The registration site for parents and parents-to-be is https://mxb-community-baby-shower.eventbrite.com. The email address for registration is merryxmasbaby901@gmail.com.

Merry Christmas Baby Community Baby Shower
Saturday, December 12, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Orange Mound Community Center
2572 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38114

Why the Flu Vaccine?

Shirley Jewell

Why the Flu Vaccine?

By: Shirley A. Jewell, BSN, RN

Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) Immunization Program

(901) 222-9329

People have numerous questions concerning the flu and the need to be vaccinated. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine every year, including pregnant women. According to CDC guidelines, it is recommended that pregnant women get a flu shot during any trimester of their pregnancy to protect themselves and their unborn child. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Below are some important questions and answers about the flu.

What is the flu?

The “flu” is a short name for influenza. It is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. The infection is caused by a virus. In the United States “flu season” can begin as early as October and last as long as May. It is highly recommended that you get vaccinated against the flu by October, if not as soon as possible.

How is the flu spread?

The flu is contagious. It spreads mainly when people sneeze or cough and droplets land in the mouth of people close by. Also you can get the flu if an object such as toys, doorknobs or used tissue has the virus on it and the person touches their eyes, nose or mouth after touching these objects.

A person can spread the flu to others 1 day before he or she is sick and as long as 5 to 7 days after becoming ill. Children and people who are very sick can spread the flu longer than 7 days after getting sick.

Is the flu serious?

The flu can be mild to serious. It can even lead to death. Anyone can become very sick from the flu but it is most dangerous for babies, young children, pregnant women and people 65 years and older. Also the flu can be serious for those with long term health problems such as asthma, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms can be different depending on age.

The symptoms may include:

  • fever ( everyone may not have a fever with the flu)
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • cough
  • runny or stuffy nose

There may be vomiting and diarrhea in children

What can I do to protect myself and others from the flu?

The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu. It protects not only you, but others from getting the flu.

Others ways to protect against the flu, along with the flu shot includes:

  • Cough or sneeze into the sleeve of your shirt or a tissue. Throw the used tissue away.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay away from people that are sick as much as possible
  • If you have the flu, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, without the use of fever medicine such as Tylenol. Leave your home only for emergencies and to get medical care.

For additional information, contact the SCHD Immunization Program at (901) 222-9329

Everyone Loves HUGS—Have you had YOUR HUG today?

HUGS Pic2

Everyone Loves HUGS

By: Linda Busby,RN

Shelby County Health Department

901-222-9703

Everyone Loves HUGS

Have you had your HUG today?

As we know there are many different kinds of hugs ranging from the polite hug to the never-ending rocking side to side embrace hug. And just as there are so many ways to hug there are endless reasons why hugs are wanted and needed. Today I want to share HUGS with you!

What is HUGS?

HUGS is an acronym which stands for Help Us Grow Successfully. HUGS is a home-based care coordination program developed by the Tennessee Department of Health. Home visitation provides a way to help decrease infant mortality. The Shelby County Health Department HUGS program provides assessment of family needs, assistance to seek solutions for these needs, and also includes client centered education.

In an effort to reduce the infant mortality rate one of the specific focus areas for the HUGS program is educating families on the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by providing a safe sleep environment for infants.

Who qualifies for these services?

  • Families living in Memphis and Shelby County
  • Prenatal/postpartum women
  • Children through 5 years of age
  • Parent/guardian of the client referred to the program.
  • Families who have experienced the loss of a child less than 2 years old (due to SIDS, prematurity, etc.) 

How does the HUGS program help a family?

A health care professional is assigned to each family. These services are provided at no cost to the families. The care coordinator encourages a healthy pregnancy to promote positive birth outcomes. Families are assisted in accessing health care and other social and educational services. Attention is placed on enhancing family strengths. Education is provided regarding pregnancy, growth, development, and parenting education. Emphasis is placed on SIDS counseling and ways to decrease the risk of SIDS.

Who can I contact if I am interested in the program or to make a referral to HUGS?

Linda Busby, RN

HUGS Supervisor

Phone: 901-222-9703

Fax:  901-222-7976

Email- linda.busby@shelbycountytn.gov

Car Seat Safety

baptist logo

Car Seat Safety

By: Pam Sere, Baptist Women’s Hospital

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of accidental of death for babies and children. One out of three children killed in crashes are not restrained properly in a child safety seat. The majority of accidents occur close to home and it is very important that every time your baby is in the car they be restrained in their car seat. Being restrained in a properly installed car seat will reduce the risk of injury in a crash by 54%. Statistically 45% of African American children and 46% of Hispanic children that are killed in crashes were unbuckled.

Over 80% of all car seats are installed incorrectly. In the state of Tennessee for 2014 only 18% of the seats that were inspected were installed correctly. Listed below are things you can do to assure “that every ride is a safe ride” for your baby.

• Purchase a car seat prior to delivery and have it checked to make sure it is installed properly – at Baptist Women’s Hospital we provide education and safety checks for parents before they take their babies home.
• It is best not to borrow or purchase a “second-hand” seat. It is hard to know if a seat has been in a previous crash which can cause “unseen damage” and an older seat might be past its expiration date (these are posted on the seat) – different seats have different expirations usually 5-7 years depending on the model and type.
• Make sure you get education on how to use your seat correctly
• Infant seats should be “rear-facing” in the back seat wherever it fits best in that seat
• Leave your infant in that “rear-facing” position up to 2 years old or the weight limit listed on the seat- don’t be too eager to turn it around
• Never put a seat in the path of an airbag
• In colder months do not dress your baby in heavy jackets or a snowsuit then buckle them in- buckle them in the seat, tighten the harness then cover with blankets so the harness will fit as snuggly as it needs to in order to restrain the baby properly
• As your child grows be sure and “move the harness straps” up to the next higher position and make sure the front harness clips are in the right place on the baby’s chest at armpit level – the harness should be snug
• Make sure the seat is always properly “latched or belted in -” if you use the “latch” (available in all car models 2003 and above) you do not need to use the seatbelt- if you take the seat out of the car and move it to another vehicle make sure it is secure and tight when you install it- there should not be more than an inch of “movement” when the seat is installed correctly– “use your knee” to hold the seat down securely and then adjust the belt on the seat to latch or belt it in as snug as you can get it
• Be sure to fill out the registration card that comes with your seat and return it to the manufacturer – that way they will be able to “notify” you if there is ever a recall on the seat
If you are unable to afford a car seat and you are participating in WIC or are on Tenn-Care there is an option through the Shelby County Health Department where you can purchase a new seat for $10 cash.
When you go to purchase a seat take the vehicle you will be driving the most- some retailers such as Toys R US and Babies R Us will allow you to take a model seat out to your car so you can see if it is a “good fit” and easy to install- the make and model of different cars may accommodate some seats more easily than others.
If you obtain your seat through the Health Department they will provide education on installing and using your seat. At Baptist Women’s we provide education and car seat checks for our patients. You can also contact area police departments to inquire if they have available staff who can do car seat checks if you are delivering at a hospital where this service is not provided . Most area police departments do have trained staff but you have to call to inquire about hours and when staff is available to provide that service.
Two links with great information that you need to know:
http://tn.gov/safety/article/newCRD Tennessee car seat laws
http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/How-To-Install-Car-Seats.htm – videos on installing & using your car seat

Birth Spacing Allows You to be Prepared

Vickie Porter

Birth Spacing

By: Vickie Porter, MSN-FNP

Shelby County Health Department Family Planning Clinic

901-222-9980

Oh, how wonderful and exciting it is to discover you are pregnant! You begin imagining what he or she will look like.  Will he/she have my eyes or dad’s nose or will he/she reach back into the family tree and get grandma’s green eye color.  Now, let’s fast forward… head in hands, tears flowing as you hear, “you’re pregnant” with child number three, ages 2 years, 10 months and now pregnant!!! This situation is fictional…or is it?

Whether you’re thinking about getting pregnant for the first time or you already have children, it’s important to think about family planning and your reproductive goals.  Nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended.   Birth Spacing refers to the time interval from one child’s birth date until the next child’s birth date. There are many factors to consider in determining what is an optimal time interval between pregnancies.  Research has shown there are a number of issues which are more likely to occur when a woman is pregnant again within a year of giving birth. These issues include an increased risk of:

  • Low birth weight
  • Small gestational size
  • Preterm birth
  • Infant death
  • Labor issues such as uterine rupture

Medical professionals recommend new mothers wait at least a full year to have another baby – some even say to wait 2 years! This gives the mothers time to replenish vital nutrients that were lost during child birth and also the recovery time to allow organs to restore back to normal. It can also help ensure that new parents will have the energy and ability to focus on another child.

So, yes it can be exciting to be pregnant and anticipating the birth of a child but it is also a very stressful period of time for the whole family. Speak with your provider of care about a contraceptive method so that you can have a baby when you are physically and emotionally prepared.