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Friday, December 31, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Ear Infections

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Ear Infections.


Overview of Ear Infections

There are three main kinds of ear infections, which are called acute otitis (oh-TIE-tus) media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (uh-FEW-zhun) (OME), and otitis externa (Swimmer’s Ear). Sometimes ear infections can be painful and may even need antibiotics. Your healthcare provider will be able to determine what kind of ear infection you or your child has and if antibiotics would help.

Acute otitis media

The type of ear infection that is usually painful and may improve with antibiotic treatment is called acute otitis (oh-TIE-tus) media, or AOM. Symptoms of AOM include pain, redness of the eardrum, pus in the ear, and fever. Children may pull on the affected ear, and infants or toddlers may be irritable. Antibiotics are often prescribed to children for AOM, but are not always necessary.

Otitis media with effusion

Otitis media with effusion (uh-FEW-zhun), or OME, is a build up of fluid in the middle ear without signs and symptoms of acute infection (pain, redness of the eardrum, pus, and fever). OME is more common than AOM, and may be caused by viral upper respiratory infections, allergies, or exposure to irritants (such as cigarette smoke). The build up of fluid in the middle ear does not usually cause pain and almost always goes away on its own. OME will not usually benefit from antibiotic treatment.

Otitis externa (Swimmer’s Ear)

Otitis externa, more commonly known as Swimmer’s Ear, is an infection of the ear and/or outer ear canal. It can cause the ear to itch or become red and inflamed so that head movement or touching of the ear is very painful. There may also be pus that drains from the ear.  Antibiotics are usually needed to treat otitis externa.


Acute otitis media (AOM)

  • Pulling at ears
  • Excessive crying
  • Fluid draining from ears
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Problems with hearing
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty balancing

Otitis media with effusion (OME)

  • Problems with hearing
More Information

To get more information about ear infections, click here. 


*Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Type 2 Diabetes

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Diabetes.


Diabetes is a condition in which people have abnormally high levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the more common type of diabetes. It accounts for over 90% of all diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes was once known as "adult-onset diabetes" but this term is no longer used because Type 2 is on the rise in all age groups, including among children. Type 2 is increasing primarily because more children and adults are becoming overweight and obese.

People with diabetes lose the ability to control the level of sugar in their blood. Sugar rises to excessive levels in the blood because it can't enter the cells of the body - in the usual way and because an excess of sugar is produced in the liver. So, for example, without sugar getting inside the muscle cells, these cells don't have enough fuel to keep the body working properly. The same is true for other cell types throughout the body.
The main feature of type 2 diabetes is the body's resistance to the action of insulin in the cells. This is a condition known as insulin resistance. Obesity may be the single most important factor in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

More Information

To get more information on Type 2 Diabetes, click here. 

*Most of the information provided here is from the Children with DIABETES site, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pharmacy Profession changing by Force?

Pharmacists deserve a more democratic governing model.Written by Cristina Alarcon on November 3, 2010 for CanadianHealthcareNetwork.ca

I hope Manitoba pharmacists realize just how lucky they are. Their Governing Body, The Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association, is one of a kind, a pearl to be prized…

As reported for Drugstore Canada by Judy Waytiuk, Manitoba pharmacists are one of the only Canadian health professions with individual voting authority over their practice regulations. This is unlike the rest of Canada, where the regulatory body consults on, sets and implements practice changes.

And so, lucky Manitoba pharmacists get to voice their concerns on important issues ranging from technicians’ scope of practice, to prescribing authority, to a position on inducements.

Input is not merely advisory in nature, and pharmacists get the respect they deserve…

True, the Manitoban-democratic-approach can potentially slow down and—to the horror of policy drafters—squash brilliant initiatives. But pondered delay is not only salutary, it is essential.

Sure, asking for full membership participation in proposed regulatory changes would be a tedious, time-consuming task, but as the Manitoba experience shows, the licensing body is better off for it.
Never is this truer than when clouds loom dark on the horizon, something not uncommon in British Columbia… where, in fact, an event of unprecedented importance took place this year….

Welcome to Vancouver EGM 2010
At the petition of 500 community pharmacists, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was convoked by the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia and held in Vancouver on July 13, 2010. Over 160 pharmacists from across the province took great pains to be present in order to voice their concerns over regulatory changes that will make technicians a new class of College registrant, authorizing them to perform final prescription checks and take verbal orders from physicians.

Highlighting this event was the resignation of Board members Doug Kipp and Bev Harris, who courageously stepped down—later to be re-elected in landslide wins—so they could speak out freely against College policy changes, bypassing a newly reinforced rule requiring all Board members to “Speak with One Voice” .

Later, the tidy Board-approved minutes would fail to capture the lively exchange that transpired on that historical July evening when over 160 pharmacists took the College to task, leaving those who were there with a taste of Orwellian Double-Speak…

There, a resolution was presented calling on the Board to “reconsider its decision to establish the profession of Regulated Pharmacy Technicians for community pharmacy”. It was supported and passed by an overwhelming majority.

Attendees were reminded, lest they forget, that due to the College’s overriding mandate to protect the public the vote would be only advisory in nature. However, they added, results would be given “due consideration” at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting in September. Pharmacists did not hold their breath.

Come September…
On August 1st, just weeks after the EGM and over a month before the much-awaited September Board meeting, Ministerial approval of revised HPA Bylaws (inclusive of regulated pharmacy technicians) came into force. The changes will allow the College to bulldoze ahead in the New Year as planned, leaving pharmacists with the impression that “due consideration” of their resolution had never really been intended at all.

Having previously resigned her position, Bev Harris attended the September 24th Board meeting as an observer. “It all took about 30 seconds,” she told me.

The BC College of Pharmacists’ Board consists of elected members and non-pharmacist government appointees. At this meeting, one non-pharmacist moved the motion that the College go ahead as planned with technician regulation. This was seconded by another government appointee. The majority voted in favour, and so, it was…

No discussion ever took place.

And so it is that, in spite of unresolved concerns, the final step in the approval process regarding the legislative authority to register pharmacy technicians as registrants of the College of Pharmacists of BC is now complete.

After only eight months of training, technicians will be allowed to perform final med checks and take verbal orders. Meanwhile, pharmacists’ concerns—ranging from liability, to employment loss, to patient safety—remain unaddressed.

In all fairness, the College has expressed the need for “further communication and support to help manage change”. However, there is something terribly wrong with a professional governing body that appears to listen but fails to act on the concerns of its registrants, seeking instead to impose change by force. Alienation is the only possible outcome.

Re-education anyone?

Sure, asking for full membership participation in proposed regulatory changes would be a tedious, time-consuming task, but as the Manitoba experience shows, the licensing body is better off for it.

If anything, a more democratic governing model would ensure that our yearly dues were better spent. It would also shield the governing body against perceptions (however unfounded) of government run amok.

An ecological blind spot

There is a huge effort today to protect the physical environment from the unintended effects of human activity. We have international agreements and national policies to reduce global warming by curbing excess carbon, produced as human beings pursue their material wellbeing.
On a smaller scale, we each do our best to turn off the taps, turn down the lights, use public transport, cut down on the fumes, recycle, recycle, and definitely not flush any medicines down the sink – especially not the brain-altering or endocrine-disrupting kind. Yes, we are constantly seeking ways to reduce air and water pollution, and in Canada, the Environment Act even allows citizens to bring civil action when the government is not enforcing environmental laws.....
(to read more click on title above)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Group B Strep

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Group B Strep.


Group B strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that is often found in the vagina and rectum of healthy women. In the United States, about 1  in 4 women carry this type of bacteria. Women of any race or ethnicity can carry these bacteria. Being a carrier for these bacteria does not mean you have an infection. It only means that you have group B strep bacteria in your body.

Finding the GBS bacteria does not mean that you are not clean, and it does not mean that you have a sexually transmitted disease. The bacteria are not spread from food, sex, water, or anything that you might have come into contact with. They can come and go naturally in the body.

GBS can be passed from a mother to her baby during childbirth.

GBS is a leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns, including pneumonia (lung infection), sepsis (blood infection), meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord), and other problems. Sadly, many infants can die or have serious long-term effects from a GBS infection.

Preventing Group B Strep in New Borns

Ask your doctor or nurse for a GBS test when you are 35–37 weeks pregnant (in your 9th month). The test is an easy swab of the vagina and rectum that should not hurt.
Each time you are pregnant, you need to be tested for GBS. It doesn't matter if you did or did not have this type of bacteria before; each pregnancy is different.

Carrying GBS bacteria does not mean that you are not clean, and it does not mean that you have a sexually transmitted disease. The bacteria are not spread from food, sex, water, or anything that you might have come into contact with. They can come and go naturally in the body.

The medicine to stop GBS from spreading to your baby is an antibiotic given during labor. The antibiotic (usually penicillin) is given to you through an IV (in the vein) during childbirth. If you are allergic to penicillin, there are other ways to help treat you during labor.

Antibiotics taken before labor will not protect your baby against GBS. The bacteria can grow back so fast that taking the medicine before you begin labor does not prevent the bacteria from spreading to your baby during childbirth.

Other people in the house, including kids, are not at risk of getting sick from GBS.  If you think you might have a C-section or go into labor early (prematurely), talk with your doctor or nurse about your personal GBS plan.

More Information

To get more information about Group B Strep and its prevention in New Born Infants, go here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: HIV/AIDS

We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday. Today's topic is HIV/AIDS.


HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a disease that attacks and destroys the body's immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against diseases and sickness. If the immune system does not work well, a person can develop deadly infections and cancers.

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the most serious stage of HIV infection. This stage means the immune system of the infected person has been destroyed.

Being infected with HIV does not mean a person has AIDS, but rather that the person's immune system may be damaged, leading to AIDS.

Effects on a Child's Health

How HIV infection will affect a child's health differs with each child. Some children show symptoms of the infection as early as the year they are born; others may not show any signs of disease until much later. How old the child is when symptoms start to show is an important clue to how your child's health may be affected.

HIV makes your child's immune system weak and hard to fight off infections or cancer, and it can make your child more vulnerable to other problems and diseases. Sometimes it can even cause strokes. The medicines used to treat HIV can have many side effects. Medicine used to treat HIV can help, but not cure the disease. Some possible side effects of the treatment include:
  • Fever.
  • Nausea or being sick to the stomach.
  • Fatigue or tiring often and easily.
More Information

To get more information about HIV/AIDS, click here.

*Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Great American Smokeout! - Saturday, November 20, 2010

Do you smoke and looking for help quitting?  Visit the Great American Smokeout this Saturday at Krusen Park in Zephyrhills from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Admission is free for all ages.  While you're there you can meet with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist and sign up for:
  • Free Nicotine Patches
  • Give-a-ways and encouragement
  • Lung function tests and oral cancer screenings
  • Information about nicotine addiction and carbon monoxide levels
In addition to learning about quitting smoking, there will also be carnvial rides, the Tampa Bay Rays Street Team, the Zephyrhills Police Athletic League, Flu Shots, and Food at the event.

If you have any questions about the SmokeOut, please contact Maurissa at the Pasco County Health Department (727) 861-5250 extension 279.

Can't make the Great American SmokeOut but still want to quit?  You can call Quitline at (877) 822-6669 for free nicotine gum, lozenges, or patches by signing up for phone counseling.    They also offer assistance in Spanish, local referrals, and self-help materials.

The Pasco County Health Department also offers two Quit Smoking Support Groups:

Mondays 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10841 Little Road, New Port Richey
727/861-5250 extension 161

2nd Tuesday of the Month 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
13941 15th Street, Dade City
352/521-1450 extension 339

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Diabetes Awareness Month

 November is Diabetes Awareness month

This is a time to communicate the seriousness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes prevention and control. Nearly 24 million children and adults in the U.S. are living with diabetes. If current trends continue, one out of every three children born today will face a future with the disease.

  • Diabetes kills more Americans every year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
  • It is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.
  • It doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • 1 in 13 of all Americans have diabetes.
  • 1 in 4 of those don't know it yet.
  • 1 in 5 are on their way to getting it. Having a condition called prediabetes means you are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next three to six years. People with prediabetes have blood glucose (sugar) levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.

*American Diabetes Association

Research shows you can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes through a healthy lifestyle.
  • Change your diet. People at high risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or about 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and being physically active for 30 minutes, five days a week.
  • Increase your level of physical activity. Physical activity can help you control your weight, blood glucose, and blood pressure, as well as raise your "good" cholesterol and lower your "bad" cholesterol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    Diabetes care begins with informed patients.
  • Talk to your health care provider about how to manage your blood glucose (A1C), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Get a flu vaccine. For those with diabetes, it is important to ask for the "shot" version. Talk to your health care provider about a pneumonia (pneumococcal) shot. People with diabetes are more likely to die from pneumonia or influenza than people who do not have diabetes.

    Stay Informed and share what you learn. You can join the effort to help promote National Diabetes Awareness Month  in your area by using NDEP messages, tools and resources.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    Reduced & Free Lunch in Pasco County Schools - Application & Eligibility

    Reduced & Free School Lunch in Pasco County

    Are my children eligible for reduced or free lunch in Pasco County?  The answer depends on your income.  If your income is between 131% and 185% of the federal poverty guidelines then yes, they can get a reduced lunch.  If your income is below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines then they can get a free lunch.  For instance, a family of five with an annual income of $45,000.00 is eligible for reduced lunch, while another family of five with an annual income of $28,600.00 would be eligible for free lunch.  Where can I view the federal poverty guidelines?

    You view the current federal poverty guidelines at GetHelpFlorida.org here.  How do I apply for free or reduced lunch?  The application is on the Pasco County Schools site here.  Please remember that if you're income changes, you can come back at any time through-out the calendar year and re-apply for free or reduced lunch.  Did you know whether or not you have reduced or regular lunch, you can pay for your children's meals online?  MyLunchMoney allows parents/guardians to pay for their children's meals online, visit them here.  You will need to create an account.  You can also set weekly and daily spending limits for your children.  MyLunchMoney is available for most, if not all, Pasco County Schools.

    Friday, November 5, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Immune System Disorders

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Immune System Disorders.


    The immune system -- your body's defense system against getting sick -- is made up of organs, tissues, cells, blood and other fluids that work together to defend the body against germs. Germs are bacteria and viruses that can harm the body. Germs are what make us sick when we catch a cold or an infection. The amazingly complex immune system can recognize millions of different enemies to the body. It can call on special cells and secretions to find and destroy those enemies. We count on our body's immune system, sometimes with the help of medicines such as antibiotics, to eliminate germs that cause infection. Some people are born with an immune defense system that is faulty. Immune system disorders (sometimes called Immunodeficiency Diseases) happen when the immune system does not defend the body normally and can affect any part of the immune system. 

    • Eight or more ear infections in a year.
    • Two or more serious sinus infections within a year. (Sinuses are the air passages in the bones of the cheeks, forehead and jaw.)
    • Two or more pneumonia cases within a year.
    • Need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections. (Medications go directly into your child's veins in a hospital.)
    • A family history of immune system problems.
    More Information

    To get more information about Immune System Disorders, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Seasonal Flu

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Seasonal Flu.


    Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a seasonal flu vaccination each year. Each year in the United States on average, 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; on average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu-related complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. This flu season could be worse.

    Signs of Cold vs Flu

    The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

    How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

    Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can be carried out, when needed to tell if a person has the flu.

    What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?
    In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

    More Information
    To read more information about Seasonal Flu, click here. 


    *Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Choice impacts Everyone!

    Humans are notably inconsistent beings, which may account for the contradictory attitudes we currently see to the phenomenon of suicide. On the one hand, every effort is made to prevent people taking their own lives; there are safety barriers on bridges, crisis hotlines, suicide prevention programmes in schools. At the same time there are organised campaigns for assisted suicide and other forms of euthanasia to be sanctioned by law.

    According to euthanasia advocates, we have the right to end our lives, and as autonomous individuals, each one should choose whether to live or die. There are people, it’s true, who think that autonomy and choice are too good to be wasted on just anyone. Someone commenting on a National Post blog recently insisted that “a 90 year old suffering dementia who is also blind, deaf and unable to walk is no longer a person.” The implication is that the infirm can have the time of their death chosen for them- by someone else of course.

    Yet autonomy and choice do lend respectability to the pro-suicide campaign because, when not used as mere buzz words, they are truly signs of the rational spark that differentiates us from our pet birds and rabbits. Autonomy, however, is only part of the human story. No man is an island, and, as part of the universal human family, both the way we choose to live and the way we die does have an impact on others.

    To read more click on title above.......

    EGM Technician Regulation

    Here are the EGM meeting highlights re: Technician Regulation....
    The meeting was held in Vancouver on July 13 2010-- College of Pharmacists of BC.
    (click on the title to view video)

    Resources for Healthy Eating and Exercise

    Enjoy the benefits of a healthy weight

    The National Institutes of Health encourage you to maintain a healthy weight so you can enjoy the benefits of  feeling good about yourself, having more energy to enjoy life, and a lowered risk for developing serious health problems.  It is important to assess your body fat, learn about the healthy foods you should eat, and find fun ways to increase your activity level:
              Assess your weight & health with these key measures:
              * BMI
              * Waist circumference
              * Risk factors for Diseases and Conditions Associated with Obesity
    • Be Active Your Way:  The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans describe the major research findings about the health benefits of physical activity:
             * Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes.
             * Some physical activity is better than none.
             * Benefits occur as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency, 
                and/or longer duration.
             * Most health benefits occur with at least 2 1/2 hours/week of moderate-intensity physical activity
            * Episodes of activity that are at least 10 minutes long count toward meeting the guidelines.
             * Both aerobic (endurance) and muscle-strengthening (resistance) physical activity are beneficial.
             * Health benefits of physical activity occur for children through older adults in every studied racial and 
                ethnic group.
            *  Health benefits of physical activity are attainable for people with disabilities.
             * The benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks of injury and heart attack.
    • Track Your Food and Exercise with MyPyramid Tracker, an online dietary and physical activity assessment tool that provides information on your diet quality and physical activity status.  You can also find links to:
             * Nutrient information
             * Physical Activity Information
             * Calorie/Energy balance

    It's important to make lifestyle changes with a focus on reducing calories from food and beverages, a healthy eating plan, and portion control. You will find information on how to eat right with menus, recipes, and food exchange lists to help get you started.

    Click here for more resources on food, nutrition and fitness from USA.gov.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    October is Children's Health Month

    Children's Health month highlights the importance of protecting children from environmental risks. Each day you will find helpful tips and links on environmental and health topics.


    Calculate your Carbon Footprint
    Protect your Children from Mold
    Keep your House Pest Free
    Beware of (Energy) Vampires
    Eat your Veggies Safely
    Be Sun-Wise
    Test for Lead
    Let's Move
    Reduce Mercury Exposure
    Reduce Use of Plastic Bags & Bottles
    Keep our Air Breathable
    Grow your Own Food
    Reduce Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
    Help Children Avoid "Nature Deficit Disorder"
    Watch Out for Lyme Disease

    Visit here for Kids & Teens safety info
    Click here to find tips for a safe and healthy Halloween

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Traumatic Brain Injury

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Traumatic Brain Injury.

    When a brain injury occurs, the functions of the neurons (nerve cells), nerve paths or parts of the brain can be affected. The affected neurons and nerve paths might be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages telling the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels and moves the body. Brain injury also can change the way the body works, affecting body temperature, blood pressure and going to the bathroom. These changes can be for a short time or for life. These injuries may cause a change or a complete inability to perform a function.

    • Losing consciousness after the brain injury.
    • Loss of memory after the trauma (brain injury) when they wake up after losing consciousness (called post-traumatic amnesia).
    • Personality change (meaning they will not act and react as they did before the injury).
    • Cognitive deficits (a change in the ability to think or reason). Changes can vary widely because no two head injuries are alike.
    • The black center of the eye is large and does not get smaller in light (called dilated pupils).
    • Tires easily and often.
    • Language deficits (problems talking as before; may have "lost" language or words they can't remember).
    • Behavior problems. Acting out or angry.
    • Can't "keep up" and doing poorly in school.
    • May not grow and develop normally. Skills delayed or not develop at all.
    • Recovery times are long, up to five years.
    • Different from other children their age. This becomes more obvious as time goes on, and they don't "catch up."
     More Information

    To get more information about Traumatic Brain Injuries, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Tuesday, October 5, 2010

    Pre-Existing Condition Insurance in Florida

    Help for Getting Medical Insurance with a Pre-Existing Condition in Florida

    As of July 1, eligible residents of Florida are able to apply for coverage through the state’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    To qualify for coverage:

    • You must be a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States.
    • You must have been uninsured for at least the last six months before you apply.
    • You must have had a problem getting insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

    PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available for you, even if it’s to treat a preexisting condition.

    Below are the monthly PCIP premium rates for Florida by the age of an enrollee.

    Ages 0 to 34: $363

    Ages 35 to 44: $435

    Ages 45 to 54: $556

    Ages 55+: $773

    In addition to your monthly premium, you will pay other costs. You will pay a $2,500 deductible for covered benefits (except for preventive services) before the plan starts to pay. After you pay the deductible, you will pay a $25 co-payment for doctor visits, $4 to $30 for most prescription drugs, and 20% of the costs of any other covered benefits you get. Your out-of-pocket costs cannot be more than $5,950 per year. These costs may be higher, if you go outside the plan’s network.

    You can apply here (it can take a while for this page to load).

    This was originally posted at the HealthCare.gov site here.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    With euthanasia, ‘choice’ is a lie

    With euthanasia and assisted suicide, the proponents of “choice” are rather naïve.

    A favourite of euthanasia proponents is the autonomy/choice argument. When not used as mere buzz words, autonomy and choice are truly signs of the rational spark that differentiates us from our pet birds and rabbits. Yet though autonomous, no man is an island.

    As part of the universal human family, both the way we choose to live and the way we die does have an impact on others. This is never truer than in the case of suicide… Across the globe, the suicidal jump off bridges every day. And from erection of safety barriers to provision of emergency hotlines, every effort is made to stop them.

    To read more, click on the title above......

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Epilepsy

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Epilesy.


    Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that makes children have recurring seizures. A seizure is caused by a sudden change in the brain's normal electrical activity (similar to the way the lights flickering in a house because power lines are shaken during a storm). The brain uses electricity, too, and can be interrupted briefly.
    Seizures can look very different. Some children have just one type of seizure, others more than one type. Some ways a seizure can affect a child:
    • Causing a short time during which the child can't use one of the senses (ability to taste, feel, see, hear or smell).
    • Causing a child to go unconscious for a short time or just sit staring into space for a time.
    • Causing convulsions.
    While seizures are a part of having epilepsy, having a single seizure doesn't mean a person has epilepsy. High fevers can trigger seizures that go away when a child's temperature goes down.
    Epilepsy is not a mental disorder. Nor does epilepsy generally worsen with time. Sometimes epilepsy goes away after several years. Despite most often being a chronic condition, children can live normal lives with the help of anticonvulsant medications (anti-seizure drugs).


    Seizures are the main sign of epilepsy. A child with a seizure might:
    • Seem to be daydreaming or not paying attention.
    • Suddenly stop while talking or doing something and stare with a blank face, followed by rolling eyes and fluttering eyelids.
    • Suddenly go stiff (especially the arms and legs).
    • Make a crying sound.
    • Have increased saliva (drooling).
    • Shake a leg/arm or whole body repeatedly, with or without blacking out.
    • In extreme cases stop breathing.
    After the seizure your child may have many different reactions:
    • May feel sleepy and confused, or upset.
    • Have a headache.
    • Feel sick to stomach (nausea) or throw up (vomit).
    • May slur speech or be hard to understand for a little while.
    More Information

    To get more information about Epilepsy, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Low Vision & National White Cane Awareness Days

    The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind is hosting two events in the upcoming month:
    Low Vision Awareness Day
    October 5, 2010 (Tues.) from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
    Seventh Day Adventist Church
    7333 Dairy Road
    Zephyrhills, FL
    (Gall Blvd. and Pretty Pond Road)

    This event is open to persons who have experienced vision loss, their families and friends, and to organizations wanting to learn more about how to help clients with low vision gain and maintain independence.


    National White Cane Awareness Day
    October 15, 2010 (Fri.) from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    Delta Woods Park
    3400 Deltona Blvd.
    Spring Hill, FL
    (US 19 and Forest Oaks Blvd.)

    Activities include a walk in the park, free picnic, games and more!
    White Cane Awareness Day is held annually to educate drivers and to keep walkers with visual impairments safe. It is open to the public and everyone is invited!

    The Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind is a non-profit organization that provides vision habilitation and rehabilitation and adjustment to blindness services to people of all ages who have experienced vision impairment. Their mission is to provide blind and visually impaired persons with the skills needed to achieve their maximum independence through independent living classes, orientation and mobility training, job readiness training, Braille, and adaptive computer training. Lighthouse services are provided at no cost to clients and their families.

    Further links provided by the Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind:

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    ADHD & Pesticides Connection?

    Protecting Children from Pesticides

    A study in the journal Pediatrics associates the potential of exposure to pesticides with cases of ADHD in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 4.5 million children ages 5 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the US alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Research indicates that exposure to pesticides used on foods such as frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery, appears to be a potential contributor in increasing the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

    In the ADHD study led by Maryse Bouchard, researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University studied the levels of pesticide residue in the urine of more than 1,139 children ages 8 to 15, 119 of whom were diagnosed with ADHD. The children with highest levels of diakyl phosphates, the breakdown products of organophosphate pesticides, were 93 percent more likely to have the disorder than those with undetectable levels. The exact causes of ADHD are still unknown. Bouchard stressed that while her analysis is the first to peg pesticides as a potential contributor to ADHD, the study proves only an association and not a direct causal link.

    Developing Healthy Habits

    Washing fresh produce before eating is a healthy habit. You can reduce and often eliminate residues if they are present on fresh fruits and vegetables by following these simple tips:

        * Wash produce with large amounts of cold or warm tap water, and scrub with a brush when appropriate; Either use a vegetable brush or clean cloth to scrub firmer produce like melons and cucumbers.

        * Some people swear by vinegar, and use one part vinegar to three parts water. This is great for removing bacteria, and may help break down wax, too.

        * There are many commercial fruit cleaners available on the market, some of which are made up of 100% natural produce – normally some form of citric acid. These claim to remove wax, pesticides and 99.9% of bacteria (including e.coli, salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, etc). If you avoid the ammonia-based products, and opt for these natural ones, they are safe, leave no smell or taste.

        * Remember to use a dry clean cloth or towel on your produce after to remove further pesticides.

        * Peeling fruits and vegetables is often the best way to substantially reduce the pesticide load, especially from apples, which are the most contaminated of all the fruits and vegetables. Pears, nectarines and peaches can also be peeled, as can many vegetables.

        * Throw away the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.

        * The best way to avoid pesticides and herbicides in our food supply is to buy organically grown food.

    - Shielding kids from pesticides: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    - The 12 most contaminated foods : The Dirty Dozen 

    * * *

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Jaundice

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Jaundice.


    Jaundice is the yellow color seen in the skin of many newborns. It happens when a chemical called bilirubin builds up in the baby’s blood. Jaundice can occur in babies of any race or ethnicity, regardless of skin color. Low levels of bilirubin are not a problem, but a few babies have too much jaundice. If not treated, high levels of bilirubin can cause brain damage and a life-long condition called kernicterus. Yet, early detection and management of jaundice can prevent kernicterus. At a minimum, babies should be assessed for jaundice every 8 to 12 hours in the first 48 hours of life and again before 5 days of age.


    Ask your pediatrician to see your baby the day you call, if your baby
    • Is very yellow or orange (skin color changes start from the head and spread to the toes)
    • Is hard to wake up or will not sleep at all
    • Is not breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle well
    • Is very fussy
    • Does not have enough wet or dirty diapers

    Get emergency medical help if your baby
    • Is crying inconsolably or with a high pitchIs arched like a bow (the head or neck and heels are bent backward and the body forward)
    • Has a stiff, limp, or floppy body
    • Has strange eye movements
    More Information

    To get more information about Jaundice, go here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Medicaid Area Offices Accommodate Hearing Impaired

    Medicaid Offices for Hearing-Impaired Beneficiaries

    The Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc. (FAD) recently published a press release on Florida Medicaid Area Offices for beneficiaries who are hearing-impaired and need access to Medicaid services.

    Florida Medicaid, a form of health insurance, is a state and federal partnership overseen by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Thirteen Medicaid Area Offices are set up throughout the state dedicated to assist beneficiaries. Each area office has a contact person and telephone number to help those beneficiaries who are hearing-impaired.

    Medicaid Areas Office Contact Names and telephones numbers are listed here, alphabetically, for Pasco and the surrounding counties:

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    Hernando: Area Number 3B, Tommy Ellis @ 352-840-5735
    Hillsborough: Area Number 6, Scott Henjum @ 813-350-4830 &
    Dondra Smith @ 813-350-4846
    Pasco: Area Number 5, Gayle Ninis @ 727-552-1925
    Pinellas: Area Number 5, Gayle Ninis @ 727-552-1925
    Polk: Area Number 6, Scott Henjum @ 813-350-4830 &
    Dondra Smith @ 813-350-4846
    Sumter: Area Number 3B, Tommy Ellis @ 352-840-5735
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Beneficiary Services are free. You can call or have a family member call for you. To learn more about offerings and assistance, click here to view ACHA's Beneficiary Services section.

    Pasco and Pinellas counties are represented by Medicaid Area Office Number 5. For more details, click on either (1) the AHCA Area Office map, or (2) MyFlorida Medicaid link. Then choose "Area Number 5".

    Additionally, a few groups and links that provide support for the disabled:
    Florida Association of the Deaf, Inc. (FAD) - provides services and important information about Medicaid and interpreters. Follow FAD through Facebook, or Twitter at deaFAD.
    Florida Telecommunications Relay, Inc. (FTRI)- offers Florida Relay Service (711), providing a connection link with those who use standard telephone equipment
    Florida 2-1-1 Network - dialing 211 is easy access to community human services information, with either a landline or cell phone, and available to every person in Florida.

    Deaf Services Bureau - assistance for those in West Central Florida.
    Florida Medicaid Program - Medicaid information provided through the Florida Health Finder Network web site.
    Florida Health Finder - web site that connects Floridians with health care information.

    Information has been provided by FAD inc., ACHA, and FTRI.

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Teens and Drug Abuse - Information to make healthier decisions

    Teen Drug Abuse Help At Your Fingertips

    The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) statistics show a decrease in teen drug use. Despite this good news, there will be kids who will get sucked into abusing drugs. Steering clear of these dangers can be a difficult thing.

    NIDA's Teen web site, teens.drugabuse.gov, is a very good resource. It delivers science-based facts about how drugs affect the brain and body to arm kids with better information to make healthy decisions.

    One helpful feature is their Sara Bellum Blog. It shares the latest research and news with teens in a non-preachy manner. It gives teens a way to communicate their thoughts about drugs. Visitors can leave their own comments. A glossary on the web site is available to look up unfamiliar terms.

    The theme this year for the National Drug Facts Week is "Shatter The Myths", November 8-14, 2010. Find out more details about it on the NIDA Teen web site.

    Teens need to be educated about the dangers of drugs in order to make good decisions. The NIDA web site is just one more tool in the arsenal to fight drug abuse.

    Information has been provided by Your U.S. Government Blog, GovGab, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it difficult for children to control their behavior and stay focused. ADHD is usually diagnosed when children first go to school, a time when they must sit for longer periods and pay attention in class. Parents are often aware years earlier that their child has a problem.
    Having ADHD doesn't mean your child has a problem with intelligence or ability to reason. Children with ADHD usually have normal or above-normal intelligence, and many are gifted.

    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) used to be called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but that term isn't really used any more. Today the term ADHD is used with an add-on comment of "with the hyperactivity" or "without hyperactivity." The differences are related to the fidgety behavior or ”hyperactivity“ some children have. Hyperactivity is more than just being "active." It is activity much greater than children typically have. Below are the types of ADHD.
    • Inattentive type: Many children with ADHD have problems paying attention. Children with the inattentive type of ADHD often:

      • Don't pay close attention to details and make careless mistakes.
      • Cannot focus on the same task for long.
      • Don't follow through on instructions or finish schoolwork or chores.
      • Cannot organize tasks and activities well.
      • Get distracted easily.
      • Often lose things such as toys, school work and books.
    • Hyperactive-impulsive type: Being more active than other children is probably the most visible sign of ADHD. The hyperactive child is "always on the go." As he or she gets older, the activity level may go down. These children are also impulsive, meaning they often act before thinking, like running across the street without looking. Hyperactivity and impulsivity tend to go together. Children with the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD often may:

      • Fidget and squirm more than other children.
      • Have a hard time staying in their seats.
      • Run around or climb constantly or when they are told not to.
      • Have trouble playing quietly.
      • Talk too much.
      • Blurt out answers before questions have been completed.
      • Have trouble waiting their turn.
      • Interrupt others when they're talking.
      • Butt in on the games others are playing.
    • Combined type: Children with the combined type of ADHD have symptoms of both these types described above. They have problems with paying attention, with hyperactivity and with controlling their impulses. Of course, from time to time, all children are inattentive, impulsive and too active. With children who have ADHD though, these behaviors are the rule, not the exception. 

  • Inattention:

    This includes children who have trouble keeping their minds on what they are doing and often skip from one activity to the next without completing anything. They don't pay attention to details and often make mistakes. They have problems organizing and planning and often lose or misplace their schoolwork, pens, toys or other things.

  • Hyperactivity:

    Hyperactive children always seem to be in motion. Sitting still seems nearly impossible. They may dash around, wriggle in their seats, roam around the room or talk without stopping. They wiggle their feet or tap their pencils. They are often restless, bouncing around from one activity to the next or trying to do several things at once.

  • Impulsivity:

    These children often blurt out answers before questions have been completed. They have difficulty waiting for their turn. They often butt into conversations or games. They get into fights for little or no reason. 

  • More Information

    To get more information about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    The end can never really justify the means

    By Cristina Alarcon, The Province, July 25, 2010
    Last week, Canadian Army captain Robert Semrau was convicted of disgraceful conduct in the shooting a badly wounded Taliban insurgent in Afghanistan. But a military panel acquitted him of murder.

    The court martial in Gatineau, Que., had been told by an eyewitness that Capt. Semrau "could not live with himself if he left an injured human being -- and that no one should suffer like that."

    The suggestion was, in other words, that the 36-year-old father of two children was engaged in a wartime mercy killing.

    Around the world, the trial sparked much debate, and got me thinking about what I might do in the young captain's place.

    That's not an easy task, as scenes of wartime chaos are but shadows on a TV screen glimpsed from the bulwarks of a comfy couch.

    Still, I can try. The young insurgent's legs were severed, his innards protruding, a horrific sight to behold. It was something a paramedic might encounter in the aftermath of an airline crash.

    I had the same sort of feeling that can sometimes come over me when dealing with the hopelessly chronically ill . . . though I always manage to shake it off.

    Confronted by such wartime misery, would I still hold firm to my principles that the ends (relief of suffering) can never justify the means (killing)?

    Or would the stress of wartime terror blur my usual moral clarity, my sense of the uniqueness of human worth?

    Would I, like Red Cross founder Henry Dunant, be inspired to greater self-giving?

    Dunant embarked on his great project in 1862 from the "chaotic disorder, despair unspeakable and misery of every kind" he earlier witnessed in the bloody Battle of Solferino in modern-day Italy.

    As a pharmacist, I have witnessed the devastating psychological effects of war on men many years after combat.

    Stress, much like drugs, can affect us in unpredictable ways. It can bring out the best and the worst in us. Still, our actions remain free.

    Writing on his blog about the moral justification for killing in war, U.S. soldier-ethicist Pete Kilner points out that good rules of engagement provide guidelines to assist [the] decision-making process.

    Nevertheless, given the complexity of combat, mistakes happen.

    Kilner explains that the default setting for a human being is to possess the right not to be killed, so when a person is no longer a threat he should not be killed.

    This is why it is morally wrong to kill a detainee or an incapacitated insurgent.

    Still, Kilner maintains, the profession of arms has two moral codes. There's the public one, based on black-and-white legal rules, and private code, known only by those who have to do the messy work of war.

    It's not healthy psychologically, he says, to have made difficult moral decisions that you cannot talk about publicly for fear of being punished.

    The prosecution alleged that Semrau committed a mercy killing because he felt bound by a "soldier's pact" to end the suffering of gravely wounded combatants.

    There is no defence for mercy killing in the law.

    Nor is it, in my view, something that ought to be applauded.

    Still, supporters argue it was unfair for a soldier to have to face prosecution for decisions made on the battlefield.

    If during wartime, we can succumb to less than humane actions, what excuse is there for us at home in a comfortable world of Ritalin for the young, Viagra for the old -- and, as some propose, an overdose of pills to help us along, should kick-the-bucket time draw near?

    We can be tempted to lose moral clarity, to lose the sense of the uniqueness of our species, of the fact that we are the ones for which the planet was made.

    Though most of us would like to have it otherwise, the end or purpose of our actions can never justify the means.

    If mercy killing is allowed in some instances, why not in others, and who is to decide?

    Yes, from the sanctuary of my couch it is all too easy for me to judge.

    Yet it also gives me a clearer perspective from which to respectfully ask: How could anyone in his right mind finish off a dying man as he would a dying horse?

    Vancouver pharmacist Cristina Alarcon can be reached at cristinaalarcon365@hotmail.com

    © Copyright (c) The Province

    Pharmacy Plan will Hurt Quality Control

    By Cristina Alarcon, Special to Coquitlam NOW, August 13, 2010
    Next time you walk into a drugstore, you may want to ensure your prescription has been properly filled and checked by a real apothecary -- a pharmacist, that is.

    And if you or your loved ones are on a complicated medication regime and technicians are doing the final check on your medicine, then perhaps you ought to be signing a consent form.

    This is because the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia has decided to pursue the licensing of technicians by Dec. 31, triggering a debate among community pharmacists who fret over liability, the profession's integrity and public safety.

    For years now, the pharmacy profession has been easing the technical aspect of the job, first via specialized technology, then via technical support, but never before by leaving order entry, preparation and final check of prescriptions to unsupervised, largely under-qualified personnel.

    While the college claims that pharmacists will still be ensuring the appropriateness of the drugs prescribed to begin with, quality control will certainly give way to monetary gain.

    If one pharmacist must oversee the appropriateness of hundreds of scrips churned out daily by an army of techs, major mishaps will undoubtedly occur.

    This idea may well work in a hospital setting, where errors are quickly caught and contained. Not so out in the community where once the wrong drug goes out that door it's gone -- and so, perhaps, is the patient.

    But let's face it: most people have no clue just how much care goes into filling prescriptions. From searching for drug incompatibilities to making phone calls to refusals to fill when directions are inadequate or the wrong drugs are prescribed for a given condition -- you name it, good pharmacists catch it. There are myriad prescribing errors made and caught daily. This is far from mindless work.

    Yet from their ivory towers academics believe the technical and cognitive aspects of this work can be separated -- imagine a chef who cannot cook, a plumber who cannot use a pump -- while drug store chain owners greedily wait to cash in on the techs' much-lower wages.

    The regulation of pharmacy technicians will ultimately result in the creation of a new health-care professional and new registrant of the College of Pharmacists of BC.

    Regulated pharmacy technicians will essentially take over the technical functions of the pharmacists' job, and pharmacists will be sitting back sipping margaritas by their pools, waiting for a call from their lawyers over the next casualty.

    No really, the idea is to free up the pharmacist for consultation on disease management and drug care, but for a hefty, never-before-seen fee. Thus the most readily accessible health-care professional will be available no more, and your drug reviews and queries will be charged speedily to your Master Card or Visa.

    Largely taken over by bureaucrats, academics and drug store chain owners, the College of Pharmacists of BC is giving in to their vested conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, the college board is conveniently silencing those who oppose their agenda by claiming that all must speak with "one voice."

    Most recently, input was seemingly sought from the public on proposed bylaw changes that would create this new technical profession. Yet board member Bev Harris (a Coquitlam pharmacist) was reprimanded for speaking in a public forum to point out the problematic draft changes. And so it appears the consultation process was merely a sham. Fruitful discussion was never really the aim.

    Over 500 community pharmacists have petitioned the college to hold off on bylaw changes that would give technicians the authority to take over their dispensing functions after a mere eight months of training. Technician certification, rather than licensing, is what pharmacists would like to see.

    And it's not that pharmacists want to go back to all that counting and licking and sticking. Trained technicians are already helping greatly with that and much more.

    While providing appropriate and timely services, pharmacists want to be sure that no errors are made along any step of the way, and that what your label says you're getting is really what's in the bottle.

    A wrong drug or dosage may not be life threatening when you are young and healthy, but it may be lethal if dispensed to your 80-year-old mother or to your two-year-old son.

    - - -

    Cristina Alarcon is a Vancouver pharmacist.

    © Copyright (c) Coquitlam Now

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Cystic Fibrosis

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Cystic Fibrosis.

    Cystic fibrosis affects the cells that produce your body's secretions (body fluids other than blood) such mucus, sweat, saliva and digestive juices (stomach acid). Normally, these secretions are thin and slippery, but in children with cystic fibrosis, a defective gene causes the secretions to become thick and sticky. The thick mucus can clog the lungs and cause breathing problems. Mucus also can create a block in the pancreas (organ in the body) and other parts of the body causing stomach problems and difficulty digesting food.

    Cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening disease, can cause severe lung damage and malnutrition (lack of necessary minerals and vitamins from foods). It is not contagious. Each child with cystic fibrosis is affected differently. Some children with cystic fibrosis are in good or even excellent health. Others are so severely limited by the disease that they may need to be hospitalized or cannot attend school regularly. Exercise is very good for these children, helping to loosen the mucus that clogs the lungs and increasing the ability to breathe deeply. Some children may tire more easily than other children.

    In hot weather or when exercising, your child should be encouraged to eat salty snacks and drink extra fluids -- about 6-12 ounces of fluid every 20-30 minutes. Avoid caffeinated drinks such as colas because they can increase fluid loss (www.cff.org). Early identification is important in helping your child to maintain good health. The "sweat test" is the one most often used to determine if a child has cystic fibrosis. This simple and painless procedure measures the salt in a child's sweat. A high salt level indicates cystic fibrosis. 

    Common Signs

    Children with cystic fibrosis can have any of these symptoms:
    • Frequent pneumonia.
    • Diarrhea

      and/or greasy, bulky stools.
    • Poor weight gain.
    • Cough lasting more than a month.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Constant upset stomach.
    • Very salty-tasting skin, often noticed by parents when they kiss their child.
    Keep in mind that symptoms are very different from child to child. There are more than 1,000 different types of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis.

    More Information

    To get more information about Cystic Fibrosis, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Low-Cost Dental Healthcare


    The Florida Dental Association has organized 213 dental practices which will provide free or low cost care. To find more information about this program, visit the Smile Florida Organization web site*.

    If you meet certain requirements and fall below a certain level of income, you may be eligible for these low cost dental services.  To locate a low cost provider that meets your needs, click here to access the 2010 Dental Care Resource Guide and dental providers by county.

    The links below will refer qualified applicants with specific needs to providers of free dental work:

    * Provided by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Featured Condtion/Disease: Cerebral Palsy

    We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday.  Today's topic is Cerebral Palsy.


    Cerebral palsy is a group of problems that make it difficult for people to control their own physical movement. A child with cerebral palsy can't move muscles normally. Cerebral palsy is caused when the part of the brain that controls muscle movement doesn't work properly. How much control the child has of movements will depend on how much the brain differs from normal.

    In most cases, cerebral palsy doesn't worsen with age. This means children don't usually lose things they have already learned. Most children benefit greatly from treatment and therapy.

    Getting  Help

    If you have a child from the age from birth to three years old, you can have your child screened for cerebral palsy through the Florida Early Steps program.  Click here to see a list of Early Steps offices in your area.

    More Information

    To get more information about Cerebral Palsy, click here.

    *Most of the information provided here is from the Teach More/Love More site, click here to visit their site.