• Is your backyard pool safe for your family?

    Having a backyard swimming pool means you can count on fun all summer long, as long as you have taken the appropriate measures to keep it safe. Unfortunately, swimming pools can also derail your summer fun by causing the need for a trip to the emergency room or even loss of life. Don’t let a beautiful summer day turn into a tragedy. Follow these steps to make sure your backyard pool is safe.

    Set up a secure perimeter

    Controlling access to your pool is one of the most effective ways of preventing an emergency. Ensure that your pool is surrounded by a fence that is at least four feet high and that has a gate that is both self-closing and self-latching.

    Adding an alarm to the gate is a great way to know if a child opens the gate when you’re not at the pool to supervise. Keep your pool covered and pull up all of the ladders when not in use.

    Lay out the rules

    Make sure that everyone who uses your pool knows the household rules. Kids should not be allowed access to the pool without adult supervision. Don’t allow running on the pool deck, where a fall could lead to serious injuries that need to be treated in the emergency room. Don’t allow diving, unless you have a designated diving area with deep enough water. Make sure all swimmers know to stay away from drains.

    Teach kids how to swim

    Learning how to swim can help your kids avoid many dangers in the pool. According to the American Red Cross , about 200 children die each year in backyard swimming pools, so being confident in the water and knowing even some basic swimming skills could save your child’s life.

    When summertime illnesses and injuries do strike, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center is here to help. Get information about our emergency care in West Hills or request a referral to one of our physicians by dialing (818) 676-4321.

  • What are the best sports for adults to take up?

    Who says that kids get to have all the fun? There are plenty of sports that are ideal for adults who may have let a little time go since their last workout and even more time pass since they were last active in anything beyond walking around the neighborhood. May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, which is the perfect excuse to dip your toes into a new sport while simultaneously reaping the health benefits of being more active . Here is a look at some sports that are ideal for adults to take up.


    Swimming is a great sport for adults because it is low-impact, so it doesn’t put undue strain on the joints, and it accommodates people of many different abilities. You are always welcome in the pool, whether you were a competitive swimmer in your youth or you’re just getting comfortable in the water for the first time.

    Swimming is also something you can do anywhere and doesn’t require investing in any special equipment. You can opt to start swimming on your own in a community pool or find an adult swim club in your area, so you can enjoy the social side of swimming as well.


    There is an adult dance class out there for just about everyone. If you miss your ballet and tap classes you took in your youth, many studios offer classes for adult dancers. You can also opt for social dance classes, such as salsa, ballroom dancing and swing dancing.

    Don’t worry about going to dance class without a partner. There are also people on hand ready to dance with someone who came to class solo.


    The favorite recess pastime is springing up around the country with adults-only leagues for the young at heart. Kickball requires a fair amount of aerobic activity, so make sure you condition before jumping into the game, and listen to your body to avoid injuries while playing .

    For those bumps and bruises that happen to active adults, West Hills Hospital and Medical Center are here around the clock with emergency care and access to diagnostic imaging and orthopedic care in West Hills. Get a referral to a primary care provider to make sure you’re healthy enough to compete or find out more about our hospital services by calling (818) 676-4321.

  • Why women may need hysterectomies

    May 14 through May 20 is National Women’s Health Week this year, which creates the ideal opportunity to discuss one of the most difficult women’s health issues : hysterectomy. Having a hysterectomy is not a decision that women or their physicians take lightly, but it can be the right decision in many cases to improve the quality of life for some women, or even save it. There are many conditions that could lead to the need for a hysterectomy. Here is a look at some of the most common ones.

    Heavy vaginal bleeding

    Heavy bleeding during menstruation and between periods can be life-altering for some women. In addition to the emotional stress created by heavy bleeding, it can lead to anemia that is marked by crippling fatigue.

    Several factors can contribute to heavy bleeding, including uterine fibroids, hormone imbalances, and endometriosis. Frequently, these conditions can be relieved by a hysterectomy.

    Pelvic Pain

    Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis can all cause pelvic pain. For some women, this pain can become so intense that a hysterectomy is the only way to get relief. Before recommending a hysterectomy as a remedy for pelvic pain, your physician will carefully diagnose the cause and may recommend less invasive treatments to see if it is possible to treat the underlying cause of the pain without a hysterectomy.


    For women with cancer of the ovary, uterus, cervix, or endometrial lining, a hysterectomy could be the key to successful treatment. Your physician may also recommend a hysterectomy if you have precancerous cells in these regions.

    If you have cancer, your physician may recommend a hysterectomy as the sole treatment, or he or she may perform a hysterectomy alongside other cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation.

    From our women’s diagnostics team to our cancer care department , West Hills Hospital and Medical Center is committed to providing women with attentive care they need during National Women’s Health Week and throughout the year. You can get a referral to a women’s health physician at our hospital in West Hills or find out more about our services by calling (818) 676-4321.

  • How is melanoma different from other skin cancers?

    Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the most aggressive, dangerous form of the disease. If you have melanoma, getting an early diagnosis and beginning cancer care as soon as possible is critical. Melanomas are different from other forms of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—in a number of ways. Here is what you need to know.

    Melanoma begins in the pigment cells.

    Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the melanocytes, which are the cells in the skin that cause pigments. It develops when the DNA in these cells is damaged and not repaired by the body. This damage usually occurs as the result of UV ray exposure, such as you might get from sunlight or in a tanning bed.

    Although melanoma can happen on any skin surface, in men, they are most common on the head and neck and between the shoulders and hips. Women are most likely to get melanoma on the lower legs or between the shoulders and hips.

    Melanoma is dangerous because it spreads.

    Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas tend to grow extremely slowly and very rarely spread to other parts of the body. Melanomas, on the other hand, can spread, or metastasize, extremely quickly.

    When melanoma spreads beyond the initial location, it can cause cancer in other parts of the body. After it spreads, it becomes much more difficult to treat. The reason melanoma is much more likely to be fatal than other forms of skin cancer is because it invades other parts of the body more quickly.

    Melanomas usually resemble moles.

    Other forms of skin cancer are more likely to look like red or white scaly spots, but melanomas frequently resemble dark moles. In some cases, a benign mole can turn into a melanoma. By being vigilant about these characteristics of your moles, you can spot melanoma in an early, treatable stage:

    • Asymmetry
    • Jagged border
    • Color variations, sometimes including red and blue
    • Diameter that is larger than a pencil eraser
    • Any change in appearance

    The Cancer Care Center at West Hills Hospital and Medical Center provides cutting-edge cancer treatment for a range of different forms of the disease. If you’re concerned about your symptoms or need more information about cancer care in West Hills, please call (818) 676-4321.