• How sports can benefit your child

    Whether it’s a traditional youth sport like soccer or baseball, or a less conventional choice like fencing or curling, there’s no question that sports are beneficial for kids. However, there can also be some health and safety concerns. Schedule a pre-participation physical exam for your child before he or she joins a sports team. You’ll find comprehensive, patient-centered care for your whole family at West Hills Hospital.

    Sports reduce the risk of childhood obesity
    Sports are a much healthier alternative to sedentary activities like video games and television. Many kids don’t get enough exercise. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , children and teens ages six through 17 should get one hour or more of physical activity each day.

    Exercising regularly helps prevent childhood obesity. This supports your child’s health now and throughout his or her lifetime. By maintaining a healthy weight, your child can reduce his or her risk of chronic diseases, such as:

    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Heart disease
    • Certain cancers

    Exercise also supports healthy bone development, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

    Sports support children’s socio-emotional health
    Humans aren’t born with social skills. Children learn these skills as they grow, and sports help kids acquire them. Sports support the development of:

    • Leadership skills
    • Sportsmanship
    • Cooperation
    • Teamwork
    • Communication
    • Problem solving

    Sports can also help kids develop emotional resiliency. They gain confidence and self-esteem by working with teammates to achieve a common goal. Kids also learn that it’s okay to fail sometimes, and that what truly matters is the ability to get back up on one’s feet and try again.

    Sports participation supports academic success
    Most kids probably aren’t trying to solve math problems while scoring goals on the field, but participating in sports does indeed support academic achievement. Sports teach kids the value of dedication, hard work and time management, and these are invaluable skills they can apply to their studies.

    Accidents happen from time to time, even after taking precautions like giving your kids protective equipment for their sports activities. If your child suffers a sports injury, the emergency care physicians and nurses at West Hills Hospital are always here to help. For non-emergent questions, call a registered nurse in West Hills at (818) 676-4321.

  • Understanding the basics of hepatitis

    Hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver. There are five different viruses that cause various forms of hepatitis. They are: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Some forms of hepatitis are quite serious, and may lead to life-threatening complications. Consider talking to a doctor at West Hills Hospital about whether you should get screened for hepatitis.

    Signs and symptoms of hepatitis
    The symptoms of hepatitis may not develop right away after exposure. It’s also possible to have hepatitis and not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may include:

    • Dark yellow urine
    • Persistent fatigue
    • Fever
    • Gray or clay-colored stools
    • Joint pain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

    Methods of transmission of hepatitis
    The hepatitis viruses can be transmitted a number of different ways. Knowing the method of transmission can help people take steps to protect their health. Doctors also recommend getting vaccines to guard against hepatitis A and B.

    Hepatitis A is transmitted through contact with contaminated food or water. People can also contract the virus with close personal contact, such as serving as a caregiver to an infected person or having sex with an infected person.

    Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids, including blood and semen. Hepatitis B can spread from a mother to her newborn, between sexual partners, by sharing infected needles or by having contact with the open wound of an infected person.

    Hepatitis C and D are also spread through contact with infected bodily fluids. However, a person can only contract hepatitis D if he or she has also had a hepatitis B infection.

    Hepatitis E spreads through contaminated food and water.

    Patients with hepatitis, and those who may have been exposed to a hepatitis virus, will find comprehensive and compassionate care at West Hills Hospital . Our skilled doctors and nurses are committed to providing world-class medical care because the health of our West Hills community is important to us. Call a registered nurse at (818) 676-4321 if you would like information about our specialty services.