Protecting Yourself from Poisonous Plants

poison ivyHappy summer everyone! With the warmer weather comes a different set of skin health issues than we see during the cooler months. Your skin can be damaged by sunburn, assaulted by flying insects, or, if you enjoy working in the garden, hiking or camping, your skin can come in contact with poisonous plants.

Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are three commonly found plants whose oil, known as urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all), has been known to cause an allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), a type of eczema that is an allergic reaction at the site of exposure. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 85% of people will develop a rash when they get urushiol on their skin. The reaction can range from a minor rash and itch to a more severe reaction with blistering and swelling.

The best way to avoid getting poison ivy, oak or sumac is to learn how to identify each of these plants. The old saying, “leaves of three, let it be” is a good place to start, although there are species of these plants with more than three leaflets. Continue reading

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Summer, the SMArt Kids way

SMArt Kids active summerYou may have heard about or even read the recent (published June 29, 2015) American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated recommendations regarding pediatric obesity prevention. It affirms the message we have been consistently teaching at our SMArt Kids Shared Medical Appointments over the last four years – that children and families should embrace healthy habits each and every day, including eating a well-balanced diet, increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.

The recommendation goes on to explicitly state that pediatricians should echo this message and help families find ways to adopt these healthy behaviors. This support should begin in infancy and continue through young adulthood. We’ve understood that families need help, and our SMArt Kids’ program is here to support them as they work to be healthier. Continue reading

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Nutrition Myth Busters

heart healthy foodsIt seems as if there are new nutrition studies coming out on a regular basis, and unfortunately, after the information is funneled through all of the media channels available, it comes out the other end pretty garbled and very confusing. This of course can be very frustrating to those of you who are trying to eat healthfully and lose weight. Consulting with a registered dietitian is the best way to straighten out the confounding mess of information, but to help where I can in the meantime, below please find some common nutrition myths that should be debunked. Continue reading

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Congratulations to our 2015 Reader’s Choice Winners

2015 reader's choiceAtrius Health is very proud to announce that several of our practices and doctors at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Dedham Medical Associates and Granite Medical Group have been recognized on Wicked Local’s 2015 Reader’s Choice awards lists in their various communities.

During the months of January and February, Wicked Local papers asked their readers to nominate their local favorites in more than 75 categories. Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast to select the top choices in each community. For the category “Doctor/Primary Care Physician or Pediatrician,” nominations were open-ended, and people could enter an individual doctor’s name or the broader practice name. Continue reading

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Dry and Secondary Drowning

child swimmingHave you ever heard of secondary drowning? What about dry drowning? The terms sound made up, but they represent real – and fairly scary – phenomena. While almost unknown, they account for about 2% of total drowning cases. And as dry and secondary drowning are much more common among children, it’s important to know what to look for during visits to the beach or pool this summer. Continue reading

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