• Limiting sun exposure on the job

    You might remember to wear sunscreen before heading out for a run or relaxing by the pool. But what about unprotected sun exposure at work? Health experts recommend wearing sunscreen every day, regardless of whether it’s sunny or cloudy. Cancer Center at Riverside Community Hospital provides high-tech, high-touch care for our neighbors in Riverside. Another important part of our mission is to raise awareness about the steps everyone can take to reduce their risk of cancer, including skin cancer.

    Knowing the risks
    Unprotected sun exposure is an occupational hazard. Over time, it can increase the risk of:

    • Skin cancer
    • Cataracts
    • Sunburn
    • Eye lesions and cancer

    Outdoor workers are at the highest risk of prolonged sun exposure. These include road crews, house painters, gardeners and summer camp staff.

    Indoor workers should know they aren’t immune to the harmful effects of ultraviolet exposure. Sunlight easily passes through windows and inflicts damage on the skin. This is why truck drivers are more susceptible to getting skin damage and cancer on the left ear or left side of the face.

    Limiting sun exposure
    Whenever possible, it’s advisable to stay indoors when the sun is strongest, which is generally between 10 am and four pm.

    Before going outdoors, wear lightweight clothing that covers up as much of the skin as possible. Some clothing is labeled to provide extra protection from the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat—baseball caps don’t protect the back of the neck.

    Protect your eyes from sun damage with sunglasses. Look for a pair labeled to offer broad-spectrum protection.

    Wearing sunscreen
    Similarly, choose broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Put on a liberal amount of sunscreen all over your exposed skin. Be sure to get these commonly missed areas:

    • Ears
    • Back of the neck
    • Top of the hands
    • Behind the knees
    • Scalp (If you aren’t bald, look for spray sunscreen)

    Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply it every two hours or as directed by the product. Use a lip balm with SPF built in—it’s possible to get cancer on the lips.

    Riverside Community Hospital is your family’s partner in health. You’ll find superior cancer care at our hospital in Riverside, along with responsive ER care for medical emergencies like dehydration, heatstroke and severe sunburn. You can speak with a registered nurse any time of the day or night by calling (951) 788-3463.

  • Stop believing these breastfeeding myths

    Today, new moms have access to comprehensive breastfeeding support services at Riverside Community Hospital and around the country. But it wasn’t always like this. During the early 20 th century, women were discouraged from breastfeeding because it was perceived as a low-class thing to do. Fortunately, society is better informed these days, but there are still quite a few breastfeeding myths floating around.

    Myth: Formula is more nutritious
    It’s possible that this myth got its start from the fact that babies who are breastfed need to feed more often than those who are bottle fed. This is because breast milk is gentler on little tummies, and it’s easier to digest.

    The truth is that breast milk is far more nutritious than formula could ever be. It contains a unique blend of antibodies that boost your baby’s immune system, along with all of the nutrients your baby needs to develop properly.

    Myth: It’s easier to bottle feed
    It’s true that breastfeeding can be difficult at first. This is why so many women attend breastfeeding classes and seek help from lactation consultants. But once you get accustomed to the routine, breastfeeding is much easier than bottle feeding.

    Unlike formula, breast milk doesn’t need to be measured, warmed to the right temperature or served in sterilized bottles. There’s no need to pack bottles, nipples and formula whenever you leave the house. Plus, you won’t have to worry about running out of food for your baby in the middle of the night.

    Myth: Small breasts indicate poor milk production
    The size of a woman’s breasts does not influence her breast milk production. Your body has an amazing capacity to produce as much milk as your baby needs. Many women even produce more milk than their babies eat, which they may choose to donate to at-need families in their communities.

    Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital firmly believes in the importance of giving every baby a healthy start in life, which is why we’re pleased to offer free breastfeeding classes to all new moms in Riverside. Regardless of where you deliver, you’re always welcome at our classes and our Breastfeeding Center. A registered nurse is available to help you at (951) 788-3463.

  • What happens when you tear your ACL?

    An injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is often the result of a sports activity, but non-athletes can also sustain ACL tears. ACL tears can be mild or severe. Your orthopedic doctor at Riverside Community Hospital will design a personalized treatment plan for you based on the severity of your injuries, your lifestyle and your overall health.

    The anatomy and function of the ACL
    Three bones comprise your knee joint: The kneecap (patella), thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia). The bones are connected by four main ligaments at the knee joint. There are two collateral ligaments, which are located on either side of the knee.

    The ACL is one of the cruciate ligaments, which cross over each other in an X shape. The ACL is in front of the other cruciate ligament, which is the posterior cruciate ligament. Your ACL ligament is responsible for keeping the tibia in place and stabilizing the knee as it moves.

    The reasons for ACL tears
    The ligament can become hyperextended. If it stretches out far enough, it can tear partially or completely. Often, ACL tears are accompanied by other types of orthopedic damage, such as trauma to the meniscus or articular cartilage.

    The following movements can cause an ACL tear:

    • Suddenly stopping
    • Slowing down from a jog or sprint
    • Abruptly changing direction
    • Landing improperly after jumping
    • Sustaining direct physical trauma to the knee, such as from a football tackle

    The signs and symptoms of ACL tears
    ACL tears usually cause obvious symptoms, especially if it’s a complete tear. As soon as the ligament is injured, your knee might give way and you might fall to the ground. You may hear an abnormal “popping” sound.

    ACL tears can be quite painful. Other signs and symptoms include:

    • Swelling within 24 hours
    • Discomfort while walking or inability to place weight on the leg
    • Tenderness
    • Loss of range of motion

    Riverside Community Hospital is a leading destination for patients with orthopedic conditions who demand superior medical services and individualized, attentive care. Our orthopedics program provides a continuum of care—from diagnostics to surgery to follow-up care. Call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to a specialist in Riverside.

  • Establish the foundation of healthy vision for your child

    Eye doctors recommend scheduling a child’s first vision screening at six months of age, or earlier if risk factors or symptoms are present. Parents are often surprised to learn that eye exams are necessary at such a young age, but this is essential to detect potential problems as early as possible. Your baby’s vision is priceless, and a pediatric eye doctor can help establish a lifelong foundation of good eye health. If you have any concerns about your baby’s health screening schedule, the doctors at Riverside Community Hospital are always available.

    Take your child to the eye doctor
    At your baby’s first visit to the ophthalmologist, his or her eyes will be checked for focusing ability and straight gazing. The doctor will also look for signs of eye diseases.

    Assuming your child is asymptomatic and at a low risk of eye problems, his or her next vision screening will be at the third birthday. Then, your child should have a vision screening before first grade, and at least every two years afterward until the 18 th birthday.

    Protect your child’s eyes from the sun
    Your child’s skin isn’t the only body part that can sustain serious damage from too much sun exposure. Excessive sunlight to the eyes can increase your child’s risk of cataracts and eye cancer.

    Protect an infant’s eyes by keeping him or her shaded while inside the stroller. Older kids will enjoy wearing sunglasses, especially if they get to pick out sunglasses with fun colors or cartoon character decorations. Your child’s sunglasses should be rated to offer broad-spectrum protection.

    Provide protective eyewear for sports
    As your little one grows, he or she may be interested in joining a sports team or playing solo sports. Ask the eye doctor to recommend a sports-specific type of protective eyewear. Serious eye injuries can lead to lasting vision loss.

    Riverside Community Hospital is committed to promoting the health and safety of our neighbors throughout Riverside. Our physicians provide patient-centered, personalized care for individuals at all stages of life. Call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral.

  • Are Kegel exercises right for you?

    Not all exercises require gym equipment. Kegel exercises target the pelvic floor muscles, which support the small intestine, rectum, uterus and bladder. These are the muscles that can contract to halt urinary flow. You can learn more about the anatomy of the pelvic floor muscles by watching this featured interview with an Ob/Gyn at Riverside Community Hospital. Any patient who suffers from urinary or fecal incontinence, or is at risk of it, can benefit from Kegel exercises.

    Reasons to do Kegel exercises
    Your Ob/Gyn might recommend that you start doing Kegel exercises if you have symptoms of stress urinary incontinence. This type refers to the involuntary leaking of urine when pressure is exerted on the bladder, such as by laughing, sneezing or coughing.

    You may also benefit from Kegel exercises if you have urge incontinence, which is the sudden, overpowering urge to urinate. This urge is followed shortly by the loss of a significant volume of urine.

    Patients with fecal incontinence, which is the involuntary passing of fecal matter, may also benefit from Kegel exercises.

    Additionally, women who are pregnant or planning to be may do Kegel exercises to reduce the risk of incontinence after childbirth.

    Steps to perform Kegel exercises
    Kegel exercises are fairly easy to perform. First, identify your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing as if you were trying to halt the flow of urine. Do not contract any other muscles that are nearby.

    Squeeze these muscles and hold it for five seconds. You can do this while standing or sitting. If you’re having trouble, it might be easier to lie down until you build up strength in these muscles.

    Do this exercise every day, gradually working up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds at a time. Try not to hold your breath, and remember not to contract the muscles of your buttocks, thighs or abdomen.

    Number of repetitions of Kegel exercises
    Initially, try for four to five repetitions of contractions at a time. Work your way up to 10 repetitions. For best results, try to do three sets of 10 repetitions each day.

    Sensitive, compassionate care that improves quality of life for our patients is our mission here at Riverside Community Hospital. Women throughout the Riverside area have long placed their trust in our Ob/Gyn services because of our commitment to healthcare excellence. Call our nurse referral line at (951) 788-3463.

  • Interpreting an abnormal pap smear

    Cervical cancer can be deadly, but there’s a way to detect abnormalities before cancer develops. OB/GYNs recommend that women have routine pap smears, which allow doctors to detect abnormalities of the cells in the cervix. A negative pap smear result means that no abnormalities were found, while a positive result means that further testing might be needed. At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find the answers you need from our compassionate team of expert OB/GYNs.

    Human papillomavirus
    In most cases, an abnormal pap smear does not indicate the presence of cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus is the most common cause of abnormal test results. Women who test positive for HPV will receive personalized guidance from their doctors on what they can expect.

    Squamous intraepithelial lesion
    When this term appears on a lab report, it means that the cervical cells have the potential to be precancerous. Women can watch this featured video by an OB/GYN at Riverside Community Hospital. She explains how the abnormalities can be graded.

    Low-grade abnormalities indicate that, even if cancer does develop, cancerous changes likely won’t be detected for years. High-grade abnormalities indicate that cancer might develop more quickly.

    The grade of the abnormalities informs the doctor’s recommendations regarding monitoring and treatment.

    Atypical glandular cells
    The glandular cells are found at the opening of the cervix and inside the uterus. Atypical glandular cells warrant further testing, as it won’t be clear from the pap test results whether they might be cancerous or not.

    Women with atypical glandular cells may be asked to have a colposcopy and biopsy. A colposcopy is a visual exam of the cervix performed with the help of a magnifying lens. A biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissues for testing in a lab.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, your health is our highest priority. Our OB/GYNs in Riverside deliver the superior care that you deserve because we genuinely care about your quality of life. Call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to an OB/GYN.

  • Travel smarter with insect repellent

    Traveling this summer? Remember to pack some insect repellent to protect your family from diseases—especially if you’re visiting a tropical location. If you’re heading overseas, visit your family physician at Riverside Community Hospital to ask about any vaccinations you may need. Your doctor can also give you current information regarding infectious diseases at your destination. With personalized medical guidance from your doctor—and plenty of bug spray—your family can enjoy a safe and healthy vacation.

    Reduce your risk of bug bites
    Aside from spraying insect repellent, you can reduce your risk of bug bites by covering up exposed skin. Wear clothes that have been pretreated with permethrin.

    Book hotel rooms that feature air conditioning. This lets you keep the windows closed to keep the bugs out.

    Choose an effective insect repellent
    There are plenty of products to choose from. Your doctor will likely recommend an EPA-registered product that contains at least 20 percent DEET. These bug sprays guard against multiple types of insects, including mosquitoes and ticks.

    Apply insect repellent properly
    First, apply sunscreen and wait for it to dry. Then, apply the bug spray according to the instructions on the label. Avoid spraying bug spray on skin underneath clothing.

    Be careful to avoid getting the repellent in your eyes or inhaled into your nose.

    Follow bug spray safety precautions for children
    Talk to your pediatrician about whether insect repellent is safe to use on your young child. Doctors generally advise against using any type of bug spray on an infant younger than two months. Children younger than three years should not wear bug sprays that contain OLE or PMD.

    Instead, you can keep infants safe from bug bites by purchasing mosquito netting with an elastic edge. Secure this over your baby’s car seat or carrier.

    To apply insect repellent safely to appropriately aged children, follow these precautions:

    • Apply insect repellent to your own hands
    • Use your hands to gently distribute the bug spray on your child
    • Never apply insect repellent to a child’s hands (risk of oral contact)

    Riverside Community Hospital is known for our commitment to healthcare excellence. If you live in the Riverside area or you’re visiting our community this summer, you can count on our ER physicians and nurses to deliver prompt, courteous care. Call 911 for true medical emergencies or direct general questions to a registered nurse at (951) 788-3463.

  • Is your teen up to date on immunizations?

    In some ways, it’s harder to protect a child in adolescence than in early childhood. Teens typically have little regard for their own vulnerabilities, and they occasionally engage in high-risk behaviors. You might not be able to protect your teen from everything around the clock, but immunizations can help. Before your teenager goes back to school, head over to Riverside Community Hospital to make sure he or she has all the recommended vaccines.

    Flu shot for teens
    Doctors recommend annual flu shots for preteens and teens. The reason flu shots are given annually is that different strains of influenza circulate each year. Vaccine researchers identify the strains that are most likely to circulate widely for a given year, and then develop the injections to protect people from those strains.

    Like other vaccines, flu shots are quite safe. It’s uncommon to experience side effects. When side effects do occur, they typically include temporary soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site.

    HPV vaccine for teens
    Millions of individuals contract human papillomavirus each year. This common virus is often harmless, but some strains of it can cause life-threatening cancers.

    This generation of preteens and teens is fortunate to have access to HPV vaccines, which are recommended at ages 11 or 12. Administering HPV vaccines at a young age is necessary to protect children before they are exposed to the virus. HPV vaccines are given in a series, spaced out over a few months.

    Meningococcal vaccine for teens
    Meningococcal disease isn’t common, but it can be deadly. Meningitis and bloodstream infections are two examples of the deadly diseases that can be spread by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria.

    Doctors advise parents to get their kids the meningococcal vaccine by age 11 or 12. Another shot is necessary at age 16. A second type of vaccine—serogroup B meningococcal vaccine—may be given between ages 16 and 23.

    Tdap vaccine for teens
    When your child was younger, he or she should have gotten the DTaP vaccine to guard against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. The protection given by this vaccine wears off gradually over time. This is why your teen also needs the Tdap.

    It’s recommended that preteens get the Tdap vaccine at age 11 or 12. Teens ages 13 through 18 should get the shot as soon as possible if they didn’t receive it yet.

    Your child’s doctor at Riverside Community Hospital looks forward to discussing immunization records and recommendations. We are committed to providing superior, family-centered care because we put our patients first. Contact a registered nurse in Riverside at (951) 788-3463.