• How to get more exercise with your kids and grandkids

    Getting active with your kids and grandkids is good for the whole family. It helps you protect your heart and orthopedic health , and it helps them get into the habit of incorporating exercise into their day. If you haven’t been as active as you’d like lately, here are some tips for getting back to your exercise regime by joining in with your kids and grandkids.

    Put it on the schedule
    If you haven’t been as active as you’d like lately, here are some tips for getting back to your exercise regime by joining in with your kids and grandkids. Busy days can make it difficult to find the time to exercise. If you put it on your schedule, you’re much more likely to actually get in the activity you want. Carve out a time each day to exercise with them.

    You may decide to set aside 30 minutes per day for a family walk after dinner or designate an hour to go to the park to play basketball a few days per week. When everyone in the family saves this time to be active together, you’ll find it easy to make space in your schedule for exercise.

    Get medical care if you need it
    It’s always a good idea to check in with your physician before you start a new exercise plan, but if you have a specific medical issue that has been keeping you from exercising, take the first step towards relief by addressing it with your doctor.

    For example, if you have knee pain or hip pain, an orthopedist can diagnose the cause and create a treatment plan that works. He or she may recommend certain activities that will ease your pain as well as things you should avoid that could exacerbate your symptoms.

    Make it fun
    The best thing about exercising with your kids and/or grandkids is that you can make it fun. Forget tedious activities like walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike at the gym. Get your kids involved in activities that the whole family will enjoy, such as:

    • Taking a bike ride
    • Going on a hike
    • Playing kickball
    • Dancing

    At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our orthopedic and spine specialists can help you life live pain-free as you enjoy your favorite activities. If chronic pain has kept you on the sidelines, call our hospital in West Hills at (818) 676-4321 for a referral to an orthopedic or spine specialist who can help you get back in the game with your kids or grandkids.

  • Should you worry if you’re called back to discuss screening results?

    When you’ve had a cancer screening test , getting a call to come back in to discuss your results can be unnerving. However, the most important thing you can do if you receive such a call is to follow up as soon as you can. Being called to discuss your screening results doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but if you need cancer care, the earlier you can start, the better the results will be.

    Why do I need to discuss my results in person?
    Often, if your physician calls you in to discuss your screening results, it means that you may need further testing. In some cases, part of a screening test, such as dark area on a mammogram, may need to be examined a little more closely.

    The need for a closer look doesn’t mean that there is any abnormality to be concerned about, but rather that your physician needs more information. In some cases, your screening test may simply need to be repeated because the results are unclear. Something as simple as a blurry image could cause the need to discuss your test results.

    How likely is it that an abnormal screening test means cancer?
    The answer to this question varies from hospital to hospital and varies based on the test and the type of cancer. For example, at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, as discussed in the video, the statistics for our mammograms are as follows:

    • About 7% of women are called back to discuss their results and to have further testing each year

    • About 1-2% of those women end up requiring a biopsy

    • Less than 1% of these women have cancerous changes in their breast tissue

    What should I do if I receive a call to discuss my results?
    Schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Addressing the issues sooner rather than later will put your mind at ease. Your physician will explain in full what steps you need to take, up to and including cancer care, when necessary, and he or she can also recommend steps to take if you’re experiencing stress and anxiety .

    The cancer care team at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is committed to supporting patients throughout the process of facing cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and to recovery. To get more information about cancer care in West Hills or to ask for a specialist referral, please dial (818) 676-4321.

  • Is it safe to have toys in your baby’s crib?

    When you return home from the maternity hospital with your new baby, it’s natural to feel anxious about making sure your newborn’s environment is as safe as possible. One area that can house more safety risks than you might imagine is your baby’s crib. When it comes to cribs, bare is best. Buying toys for babies brings parents joy, but do they belong in the crib? Here is what you need to know to protect your baby.

    What does bare is best mean?
    Anything you put into your baby’s crib could turn into a hazard. That means keeping pillows, heavy blankets, sleep positioners, and toys out of the crib.

    Adding unnecessary items to a crib increases the risk of suffocation and choking, especially in newborns. About half of the deaths that occur in cribs each year are suffocation events caused by having additional items in the crib.

    Is there any safe way to use toys in my baby’s crib?
    Ideally, there shouldn’t be any toys in the crib. If you want to include some, here are some safety guidelines:

    • Choose small toys that can be attached to one side of the crib.
    • Don’t use toys with parts that might detach or that babies can use to pull themselves up.
    • Ensure that toys don’t have any cords that babies could become tangled in.

    Alternatively, simply wait until your baby is at least 18 months before putting any toys in his or her sleeping space. If your baby ever sleeps in a playpen, the same rules apply. Remove the toys from the space when your baby sleeps, and never leave him or her unattended with toys in the playpen.

    At West Hills Hospital & Medical Center, your baby’s safety is as important to us as it is to you. The nurses at our maternity hospital offer extensive post-partum education to help you make the right decisions for your baby’s safety, and should your newborn need medical care, we are home to a world-class NICU . To find out more about our maternity services, please call (818) 676-4321.

  • Knowing if you have a cold or the flu

    When cold and flu season hits, every sniffle and cough could have you wondering which infection you have. Generally, telling the difference between the two based on the symptoms is difficult, and you may need to see a physician to get a definitive answer. Because the flu can lead to serious health problems that require emergency care , it can be helpful to know which illness you have.

    What symptoms do colds and the flu cause?

    Because colds and the flu are both viral, respiratory infections , they cause very similar symptoms. Both can cause:

    • Runny or stuffy nose (although this symptom is slightly more common with colds)
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • Body aches
    • Fever (although this symptom is more common with the flu)

    Not everyone with a cold or the flu will experience all of these symptoms. Typically, flu symptoms are more severe than cold symptoms.

    Does the color of phlegm hold any clue?

    Many people have heard that they can tell if they have a cold or the flu based on the color of their phlegm. As discussed in the video, clear phlegm is often associated with allergies, while phlegm that is green or yellow usually indicates that you are fighting off some kind of infection, like the flu or a cold. Brown or reddish phlegm can indicate a serious infection.

    The color of your phlegm can be a clue that you have an infection, but it generally doesn’t offer a clear answer as to whether you have the flu, a cold, or another viral or bacterial illness.

    How can I get a definitive answer?

    There are a number of different tests your physician can use to determine if you have the flu. Generally, these tests are most reliable during the early onset of symptoms.

    Your physician may not recommend flu testing unless you have a high risk of complications. For instance, if you have diabetes or another chronic health condition, the flu may be more dangerous for you. In these cases, knowing for sure if you have the flu will help your physician create a treatment plan.

    Whether you need emergency care in West Hills for your symptoms or a physician who help you manage your respiratory infection, choose West Hills Hospital & Medical Center for your treatment. Call us today at (818) 676-4321 for more information about emergency services or a referral to one of our providers .