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4 Common Illnesses to Avoid in the Back-to-School Season

You might notice that children tend to get sick far less often in the summertime, and right as school starts in the fall, cold symptoms or stomach aches flare up. This is no coincidence, as illnesses are spread very easily through the classroom, where children are in close contact with one another all day long. This article will take a look at the illnesses you are most likely to see in your child this fall along with a few helpful tips for prevention.


Gastroenteritis is more commonly known as the stomach flu, and it could have your child feeling very uncomfortable with symptoms like dehydration caused by diarrhea and vomiting. The stomach flu is passed along by germs in the stool, so proper handwashing is an essential skill for kids to master. Providing hand sanitizer to your child’s classroom may also be helpful, since there is not always time for every student to wash his or her hands between various activities.

Head lice

Younger kids in kindergarten or preschool are most susceptible to head lice, which are not harmful but will require treatment with special shampoo. Head lice are not a sign of poor hygiene, and they generally spread by crawling from one head to another, making the playground a prime breeding ground for these tiny insects. One potential harm in head lice is dangerous home remedies, which often recommend the use of hazardous substances like gasoline.

Colds and sinus infections

Before flu season gets into full swing, you may have a child suffering from the sniffles due to a cold or sinus infection. Properly diagnosing a sinus infection may actually be difficult, since symptoms are often very similar to those of the common cold. The primary difference is that sinusitis symptoms will last longer, and it needs to be treated with antibiotics, which should be prescribed with caution, since using antibiotics to treat a cold can lead to antibiotic resistance in your child.

Strep throat

Strep throat presents a similar problem to sinusitis, in that the symptoms of viral infections may be confused for strep throat. While strep throat is a bacterial infection that will respond to antibiotics, most sore throats are caused by viruses that will clear up on their own. That’s why it’s important to carefully monitor your child’s symptoms and visit a pediatrician who is familiar with your child’s health history.

Whether your child needs preventive care or a trip to the ER, you can rely on Southern Hills Hospital for your family’s care in Las Vegas. To stay connected with us, call our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 880-2700 and speak with a registered nurse anytime, 24/7.

Colon Cancer: Separating Myths from Facts

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, but it is very treatable—and even preventable—with early diagnosis and regular screenings. Unfortunately, myths about the disease often prevent people from getting the care they need. Don’t let misinformation about colon cancer compromise your health. Schedule a screening with a physician at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, and keep these facts behind common colon cancer myths in mind.

Myth: You Only Need To Be Screened if You Have Symptoms

Colon cancer screening should be part of everyone’s preventative healthcare regime. Most people should start having screenings by age 50, but your doctor may recommend earlier screenings if you have a family history of the disease. When you get screened for colon cancer, your doctor can find the disease in its early stages, when it is most treatable, or may find pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed, preventing cancer from ever developing.

Myth: I Would Know if I Had Colon Cancer

Colon cancer often doesn’t cause any symptoms at all when it is in its early stages. Pre-cancerous polyps are also asymptomatic. Colon cancer may cause a change in bowel movements, abdominal distension, unexplained weight loss, and rectal bleeding, however, these symptoms usually appear when the disease has progressed. Colon cancer could be present in your body long before you experience your first symptom.

Myth: Colon Cancer Can’t Be Treated

Colon cancer is a very treatable type of cancer, especially when it is caught in early stages. Because colon cancer tends to grow slowly, many patients can be treated with surgery to remove the affected part of the colon. When the disease has progressed, chemotherapy and other treatments may be combined with surgery. Colon cancer screenings and early diagnoses have helped the rate of deaths from the disease decline.

Don’t put off life-saving colon cancer screenings. Talk to your Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center physician about your needs for cancer screening based on your health history. You can learn more about all of our Las Vegas hospital services, including stroke care, our maternity hospital, and orthopedic surgery, by calling (702) 880-2700.

Preparing Your Child for a Healthy Start at School

Helping your kids start the school year out healthy is a great way to get the year off on the right foot. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center, our family care physicians can help your little ones face the upcoming year with preventative care and management of any chronic medical conditions. These tips will also help you prepare your kids for a new school year.

Adjust the Sleep Schedule

Sleep schedules often go out the window during summer, and your kids may have gotten used to stay up at night and sleeping in late. That can make for a rough transition when the alarm goes off on the first day of school. Help your kids adjust by getting them back on a regular sleeping schedule before school starts. A week or so before the first day, start putting your kids to be at their usual school bedtime and get them up on the mornings when they will be getting up for school. Giving them this time to ease back into their routines will prevent any shock to the system on the first day.

Get a Checkup

The start of the school year is a great time to schedule your kids for checkups with your family physician. At these appointments, your kids can get any vaccines they may need for school, and you may be able to get sports physicals completed at this time, if your kids plan to join in extracurricular activities. If your child has a chronic condition like diabetes or asthma, talk to his or her physician about a care plan for school days.

Pack a Healthy Lunch

Healthy lunches and snacks give your kids the energy to concentrate during the school day. Pack balanced meals with protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. Water is the best choice for a drink. If your kids eat at the school cafeteria, review the menus in advance to help them make healthy choices.

For a referral to a physician at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas, call (702) 880-2700. Our full service hospital provides care for all ages, from stroke care and maternity care to geriatric psych.

Understanding the Basics of Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It is similar to ulcerative colitis; however, Crohn’s disease can affect the entire digestive tract and, unlike ulcerative colitis, cannot be cured. Although there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, it is possible to control the symptoms and live a normal life. Seeking urgent care for flare-ups plays an important role in managing the disease, as do medications and following dietary guidelines. Here is what you need to know about Crohn’s disease.

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. As a result, chronic inflammation develops within the digestive system that leads to ulceration and thickening of the intestinal walls. Doctors are not sure what causes this process to begin, but diet, stress, and heredity may all play a role. For reasons researchers do not yet understand, Crohn’s disease is more common in developed countries than the developing world.

What Are the Symptoms?

Because Crohn’s disease can attack any part of the digestive tract, symptom can vary. Common signs of Crohn’s disease include urgency with bowel movements, persistent diarrhea, constipation, and rectal bleeding. Loss of appetite, fever, and weight loss may also occur. In some cases, a fistula may develop, which requires urgent care.

How Is It Treated?

There are a number of different treatments that can help control Crohn’s disease symptoms. Most patients need a variety of treatments to get the best results. Possible treatments include medications that reduce inflammation and control the activity of your immune system, dietary restrictions, and surgery. Each patient is different, so your doctor will work with you to find the right combination of treatments for you.

If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or are experiencing symptoms, request a referral to a physician at Southern Hills Hospital &Medical Center in Las Vegas. Our colorectal surgery team provides treatments to help Crohn’s disease patients live normal lives. Learn more about all of our hospital services by calling (702) 880-2700.

What Does Summer Weather Do to Your Respiratory Health?

If you have respiratory health issues, summer can present a special set of challenges. To avoid hospital trips and the need for urgent care, take steps in advance to prevent complications. Here is a look at some of the ways summer weather can exacerbate respiratory health issues and what you can do about it.

COPD Flares

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, heat and humidity can be the enemy. Although some people with COPD actually experience symptom relief in this kind of weather, for most, hot and humid weather leads to a flare. Talk to your doctor about ways you can keep your symptoms under control in summer weather, such as a medication changes or adjusting your activities. On days with extreme heat and humidity, you may find that staying inside and limiting your activities is the most effective way of avoiding a flare-up of symptoms.

Asthma Attacks

Heat and humidity can be a dangerous combination for asthma sufferers, and these symptoms are only made worse by air pollution. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend the season indoors. Pack a bag of supplies when you’re out, including your quick-relief inhaler and peak flow meter. It also helps to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Limit your outdoor activities to the cooler parts of the day whenever possible. While swimming pools can be a great way to escape the heat, keep in mind that chlorine can be an asthma trigger for some people. If the smell of chlorine is strong, it’s best not to swim in that pool.


Food pollen is in the air during summer, and this can trigger flare-ups of respiratory conditions. If you’re experiencing sneezing, runny nose, and sniffles, talk to your doctor to find out if allergies could be to blame. Medications to reduce your allergy symptoms could also help reduce your respiratory health issues.

Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center provides urgent care in our emergency room for all of your summertime health issues. Find out about all of the services in our Las Vegas hospital, including stroke care and geriatric psych, by calling (702) 880-2700.

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