Summer calls for keeping kids safe

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Between bug bites, sunburns and other preventable injuries and accidents, parents have lots to do to keep their children safe through the summer months. One of the doctors in the Montana Family Medicine Residency offers some tips.

Contracting Hantavirus Could be Fatal

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When Montanans clean out cabins, sheds, barns and other out-buildings where mice may be living, they need to follow safety guidelines to avoid the threat of hantavirus.

Gardeners’ Market Packs Family Fun

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Shop the Healthy By Design Gardeners’ Market for fresh produce from local vendors. The market opens Thursday, June 8, from 4:30-6:30pm at South Park and continues through early October. If you have children, check out the Power of Produce activities, which encourage kids to sample fresh veggies and shop for their favorites.

Plan ahead for travel vaccines

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If you plan to travel out of the country, leave plenty of time to get your travel vaccinations, especially if you are traveling to parts of South America or Africa that recommend or require immunization against yellow fever. This summer, RiverStone Health will become the only site in Montana that can offer the yellow fever vaccine.

New Way to Vape, New Danger to Teens

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Teens who vape, may also be “dripping,” dropping liquid directly on to the heating element of an electronic cigarette. Electronic cigarette use among Montana high school students is almost double the national rate of 16 percent. That rate is particularly troubling, since 75 percent of young adults who use e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems also report using traditional cigarettes.

Know dangers of huffing household chemicals

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Inhalant abuse relies on chemicals as common as nonstick cooking spray or the canned air used to clean computer keyboards. Many solvents and aerosol sprays are so concentrated that sniffing them can cause the heart to stop or beat irregularly.

Slowing Gonorrhea’s Spread

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The number of gonorrhea cases in Yellowstone County grew from 14 in 2012 to 234 in 2016. While gonorrhea is easily treated, it may not show symptoms, especially in women. Anyone who is sexually active can get gonorrhea, but risk factors include having multiple partners, using drugs or alcohol, or exchanging sex for drugs or money. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested.

Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

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State and federal governments have taken steps to reduce prescription drug abuse. This column points out one step you can take by disposing of outdated, unused or unneeded medications safely.

‘Priceless’ Volunteers Fill Hospice Roles

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Hospice volunteers fill gaps between the care loved ones offer and the care provided by healthcare professionals. Those volunteers often describe their work as a way to make a meaningful difference in someone’s life. National Volunteer Week, April 23-29, offers a chance to honor their commitment.

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