Family Health Services News


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Below are some ways to help you prevent tick bites:

  • In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

If you do get a tick bite, below is a quick guide on how to properly remove it:

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For more information

View this Youtube video

Or visit: Tick Information

You think you're doing the right thing giving your baby a bottle to help settle into nap or bedtime. But if that bottle is filled with anything but water, you may be setting your baby up for bottle rot or early childhood tooth decay and bottle rot. What is bottle rot? And how can you avoid bottle rot?

What Is Bottle Rot?

Bottle rot is tooth decay of your baby's first teeth. It happens when sugary drinks like juice, milk, or formula cling to your baby's teeth for a long time. A bottle may help him or her to fall asleep, but inside the mouth, bacteria are feeding on the juice, producing the acids that cause tooth decay.

Bottle Rot Attacks Baby Teeth

Baby teeth do several really important jobs. They help your child learn how to chew solid food and speak properly. They also serve as placeholders and guides for your child's permanent teeth. So, it's important that you protect your child's baby teeth from bottle rot and other types of harm.

You can prevent bottle rot from destroying your baby's dental health by taking some simple steps.

• Give babies only water in a bottle during a nap and bedtime.

• Limit the amount of juice and other sugary drinks during the day.

• Wipe your baby's gums with a clean, damp baby washcloth after mealtimes.

• Never dip a pacifier in sugar, honey, or other sweeteners.

• If your water is not fluoridated, ask your child's dentist or doctor if you should use a fluoride supplement.

• Avoid cleaning a baby's pacifier with your mouth, sharing chewed food or using the same spoon.

• Schedule your baby's first dental check-up by the time the first tooth comes in.

Physical activity for young children is an important component of early brain development and learning.  When adults model and teach the importance of physical activity, young children are more likely to adopt a lifetime of healthful practices and behaviors.

Click on the link below for 15 simple outdoor activities you can do to get your children moving.

Outdoor Activities

It’s important to drink water to maintain balance of fluids in the body, energize muscles, moisten tissues, keep skin healthy, regulate body temperature and maintain kidney and bowel function.

Studies suggest it takes 21 days to create a habit but, bottom line, bad habits can always come back, so think “long-term lifestyle change” instead of “short-term fix” by incorporating more water intake into your daily routine. How much water you need depends on your gender, age, size and activity level, so for starters drink enough to maintain a pale urine color.

Here are a few tips to get you started with better hydration habits:

Drink a glass of water as part of the morning routine. Make it something you do with breakfast or after brushing your teeth — drink 8 to 16 ounces. Warm, cold, with or without lemon, however you enjoy it most.

Pack a water bottle. Having water on hand makes it easier to increase intake because it’s a constant reminder and easy access. Remember to fill it up a few times throughout the day, especially after meals.

Serve water with dinner. Having a pitcher at the table is a good idea so refills are easy and encouraged.

Opt for water over alcohol. Women should limit themselves to one alcoholic drink per day, while men should limit consumption to two drinks per day. If you have more than one alcoholic beverage, have water after your first drink. You could also try seltzer water with a slice of citrus, cucumber or mint-infused water instead of another drink.
According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, over 20 million new Sexually Transmitted Disease(STD) infections occur each year in the United States. This means that there are currently over 110 million men and women living with an STD in the US. If left untreated a sexually transmitted infection (STI) can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, in increased risk of HIV contraction, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and many other health risks. 

If you are currently sexually active the best way to prevent an STI is to talk, test, and treat.

TALKING… with your partner prior to intercourse about which methods will be used to prevent pregnancy and infections is the first step to sexual health. TALKING… also includes being open and honest with your health care provider about your sexual history and behaviors. Discussing this with you provider will lead to the next most important step, TESTING.

Based on your age and history, your health care provider can recommend what STI TESTING you should receive. The CDC has a current up to date list of recommendations that can be found on their website. If your test results are positive your doctor will prescribe a TREATMENT regimen that is very important to follow.

In addition, it is important to also inform any partners that you have had intercourse with in the past three months. Your doctor can offer EPT or expedited partner therapy which means a prescription can be written for them without testing. After completing TREATMENT, it is recommended that you follow up with your health care provider in three months to be re-tested to ensure that the infection has cleared.

The Family Planning clinic offers STI testing and treatment by simply call 607-687-5333 to make an appointment today. All information is kept strictly confidential!

Sexually Transmitted Infections among Young Americans. Youth bear disproportionate share of STIs. Americans ages 15 to 24 make up just 27% of the sexually active population, but account for 50% of the 20 million new STIs in the U.S. each year. Young people account for a substantial proportion of new STIs. Americans ages 15 to 24 account for 70% of the 820,000 gonorrhea infections among all ages; 63% of the 2.9 million chlamydia infections among all ages; 49% of the 14.1 million HPV infections among all ages; 45% of the 776,000 genital herpes infections among all ages; and 20% of the 55,400 syphilis infections among all ages. Finally, Americans ages 13 to 24 account for 26% of the 47,500 HIV infections among all ages.
American Heart Association’s National Walking Day is a nationwide call to action for Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle and are encouraging people to take a 30 minute walk.

Walking is low-risk and easy to start. It can help keep you fit and reduce your risk of serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.

Tips to get started:

·         Wear comfortable clothes

·         Bring a friend to pass the time

·         Drink plenty of water

·         Don’t forget to move your arms

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued advice regarding eating fish. This advice is geared toward helping women who are pregnant or may become pregnant - as well as breastfeeding mothers and parents of young children - make informed choices when it comes to fish that is healthy and safe to eat.

To view recommendations click below:

Updated Fish Recommendations

In October 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released Media and Young Minds, the new screen time policy statement. This policy provides guidance for providers, families and industry to promote the development of children 0-5 years old and maximize benefit from newer digital technologies. Overall guidelines are as follows:

Avoid fast-paced programs with distracting content and any violent content

Avoid using media to calm children

Monitor apps and media content; test apps before the child uses them

Keep mealtime, bedrooms, and parent-child playtimes screen free

No screen time one hour before bed

Age specific guidelines are as follows:

<18 months: No screen media except video-chatting with a trusted family member or friend.

18-24 months: Choose high quality programming/apps (i.e. Common Sense Media, PBS Kids, and Sesame Workshop) and avoid letting children use the media by themselves.

>2 years old: One hour or less of high quality screen time. Co-use with parent to promote enhanced learning, greater interaction, and limit-setting.

To facilitate family management of screen time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently launched a Family Media Plan. This online application empowers families to create a customized plan for managing family screen time. Using this plan, families will be able to reduce overall screen time, improve the quality of screen time, and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
Tioga Opportunities, Inc., Women, Infant, & Children (WIC) program would like to give a special thank you to the Walmart Foundation for a $1,000 grant to help with our 2017 Healthy Lifestyle Initiative. This year we are focusing efforts to enhance awareness of prenatal participants, to better understand the need for extra calories during their pregnancies in order to achieve healthy birth outcomes. Increased education & awareness will highlight portion control (in regard to the need for extra calories), in helping mothers navigate what is healthy for them and baby. WIC plans to use the awarded grant money to provide those participants who are a part of the Healthy Lifestyle Initiative, portion size containers so they can use what they learn as part of the WIC experience, at home.

For more information on how to apply for WIC please call 607-687-3147
Did you know that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month?  Each year nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer. Of those 13,000 women more than 4,000 of them will die as a result. The main cause of cervical cancer is the virus known as Human Papilloma Virus. As a part of our commitment to reproductive health we’d like to highlight the importance of HPV awareness, cervical cancer prevention, and overall cervical health.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted STI. It can cause genital warts, cancer, and can change cells in the cervix. The most common forms of HPV are preventable with a series of three shots, known as Gardasil. It is recommended that both men and women become vaccinated sometime between the ages of 11 and 26. In addition to cervical cancer, HPV can also cause cancer of the mouth, throat, anus, penis, vagina, as well as cause genital warts.  The CDC states that nearly all sexually active women and men will come into contact with at least one strand of HPV in their lifetimes which makes vaccination crucial.

Starting at the age of 21, it is recommended that women receive their first Pap smear, and every three years after that. This is because pap smears can help detect changes in cell structure. Some women may need a PAP smear more often if they have a history of cervical cancer or abnormal results. Getting regular PAP smears can help detect the changes in cervical cells before they turn into cancer, as well as the early stages of cancer. The earlier a provider can detect these changes, the higher the likelihood of survival.

PAP smears are typically free and covered by insurance, even if it’s a high deductible plan. Call Family Planning at 607-687-5333 to schedule an appointment. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale and most insurances are accepted. 

Are you a female between the ages of 14 and 20 living in Tioga County? Are you interested in learning more about birth control, STI's, and healthy behaviors? If so Family Planning Education has a program for you! This program involves earning money and other incentives for participation.

For more information call the Family Planning Clinic office at (607)687-5333 and ask about our Seventeen Days Program. 

In Collaboration with Owego's Boys and Girls Club, Tioga Family Health Services will begin running the SMART GIRLS program on January 18th. For girls of all ages SMART GIRLS is a prevention and enrichment program designed to engage girls in activities that develop their social-emotional skills. Giving girls the chance to think about and discuss the challenges they encounter and to formulate and practice appropriate and productive responses. Through this process, SMART GIRLS nurtures girls social-emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills- qualities proven to lead to success in life. 

For more information

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Our Address:

Tioga Opportunities, Inc.
9 Sheldon Guile Blvd.
Owego, NY 13827

Contact Us

(607) 687-4222
Toll-free at 866-352-3680.
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