Thank you for
subscribing to In Great Health, an Avera eNewsletter that
provides you with information to help you live a healthy
lifestyle. To learn more about what Avera can do to partner with
you to improve your health, visit www.Avera.org.
To your health,
The Avera staff
Get Children Immunized as School Starts
Immunizations protect against
childhood diseases and save millions of lives. To prevent the
spread of disease, especially as the school year begins, check if
your child is up-to-date on vaccinations. A good time to do this
is during your child's annual wellness exam.
some patients and parents are skeptical about the safety of vaccines, Avera experts
say the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks. Some people
have raised concerns about vaccines and their effects on autism,
but there is no proven connection. If anything, studies have
shown that vaccinations keep those around you healthy by
preventing disease from spreading. Because vaccines prevent the
spread of influenza, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis, whooping
cough, tetanus, measles and more, stick to an immunization
schedule to ensure your child is sufficiently protected against
This website includes a chart about
when children should be vaccinated. Talk to your child's doctor
about your child's vaccination schedule or to schedule an
Dedicated to a Common Vision ... Yours
Eye exams check your vision and the health
of your eyes. That's why children and adults should have
regularly scheduled eye exams. It's important to go to your
screenings, but also speak to your family practitioner at any
time about concerns you have with your eyes.
eye exams can detect many eye and medical problems, including cataracts ,
diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure,
lazy eye, color blindness and
more. Many of these conditions are curable or can be treated if
detected early. Eye exams also identify poor vision, which left
undetected can affect children's academic performance.
should have a vision screening at a pediatrician or family
practitioner's office around the time they learn the alphabet,
and then every one to two years after that. If you notice any eye
or vision problems before then, make an appointment with your
child's doctor. For adults, this is the recommended frequency for
- Adults who wear
contact lenses: Annually
- People ages 20 -
39: Every five to 10 years
- People ages 40 -
54 with no risk factors: Every two to four years
- People ages 55 -
64: Every one to three years
- People ages 65+:
Every one to two years
- Adults with
certain eye symptoms or disorders: Annual exams or even more
frequent exams may be necessary.
health plans cover the cost of annual exams. Avera has
optometrists and ophthalmologists on staff to attend to your eye
health. Find a location near you.
Plan Ahead to Keep Foods Safe
is a good time for picnics, barbecues and camping. The conditions
and the heat, though, can make it challenging to keep foods safe during these
times. Plan ahead to keep foods fresh and good to eat, especially
during outdoor gatherings.
can be contaminated by bacteria, parasites, viruses or toxins in
many ways. To prevent food-borne illnesses, keep the following
tips in mind no matter where or when you're preparing food:
hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Failure
to keep food at its proper temperature causes bacteria to grow.
your hands before handling food. This
prevents germs from spreading.
cross-contamination. Use separate cutting boards,
bowls and utensils for meat, poultry and seafood. Wash your hands
after coming into contact with these products.
the time that food is outdoors. Refrigerate
foods within two hours. Foods that are especially susceptible to
food contamination include mayonnaise-based salads such as potato
salad, eggs, cheese, meats and dairy products.
cook meat. Red meat and poultry have a higher risk
for causing food-borne illness. Make sure they reach the
appropriate internal temperatures - 160 degrees for red meat and
180 degrees for poultry.
In Great Health is one in
a series of Avera eNewsletters that gives readers valuable
information about health and wellness at Avera facilities. It is
not intended to replace personal medical advice, which should be
obtained directly from a physician.