Tag Archives: medicare

Tips for helping your kids prevent sports injuries

1 Aug

Remember when Daniel was 5 months old and I broke my wrist?  My right wrist (and I’m right handed)?  I couldn’t drive, and everything I did was hard, including brushing my teeth, since I had to use my left hand.  Picking Daniel up was even harder since there was no way I could get a 5 month old out of a cot/crib with one hand.  I had to use both whilst grinning and bearing the pain.

Clearly I am not the person to talk to about preventing sports injuries.  Instead, today’s post on the preventative injuries topic is a guest post written by Medicare local:

Sports are great for kids; they get them outdoors, mobile, fit and happy. Sport can help develop important skills like coordination, working as part of a team and even promote self confidence, not to mention a healthy and active lifestyle. But, of course, there’s always the risk of injury where there’s physical activity. There’s no need to worry though, by taking a few simple steps you can greatly reduce your child’s risk of sustaining a sporting injury.

Wear Protective Gear

Rule number one of preventing sport injuries is to wear protective gear when playing a sport. Whether it’s a helmet, a mouthguard, shin-pads or gloves, if it’s recommended for your child’s sport then it’s a worthwhile investment. Concentrate particularly on known problem areas for your child’s chosen sport – choose gear that will protect any area that is most commonly at risk in that sport. Ask the coach for advice and do your research to make sure you’re protecting the right places.

Warm-Up and Cool-Down

It’s important that your kids do warm-up exercises before training or playing a sport, and cool-down exercises afterwards. Warming up helps loosen the muscles and prepare them for a higher-intensity workout by increasing blood-flow to the muscles. Cool-down exercises afterwards help return the body to normal activity levels gradually, avoiding blood rushing to the muscles and pooling after an activity is stopped abruptly and flushing out waste products like lactic acid.


Training and Education

One of the best preventative steps when it comes to kids’ sports injuries in proper training and education. If your child knows how to play the game or workout correctly and understands the risks associated with that activity they have a much better chance of avoiding injury. Kids should be educated about how the body works and what muscles they use for the sport, as well as how to avoid doing themselves any injuries, including warming-up and cooling-down.

Time to Heal

While your child might be impatient to get back in the game as soon as possible, it’s very important that he/she has a sufficient amount of time to heal and doesn’t come back to the sport before the injury is fully healed. Starting again too soon can put your child at risk of re-injury and will mean even more time away from his/her favourite sports in the long run so don’t be hasty and make sure your child has properly healed before heading back onto the field.

If your child has sustained a particularly bad injury and is reluctant to go back to playing sport, you can ask your local child mental health services for advice about dealing with the mental impact of injury and how you can help him/her overcome the resultant fears.

Adult Supervision

During sport and training kids should be supervised by a trained adult who can guide them through a safe and effective game or training session and help them avoid any activities which may cause injury. Having a trained adult there means kids have access to help and advice, can be corrected when they’re doing something that may put them at risk of injury, and have somebody at hand to come to aid immediately if they do injure themselves.

With these measures in place you can rest assured that you’ve taken positive steps against injury and your child will be free to enjoy his/her favourite sports in a safe environment.

*This post was brought to you by Medicare Local – Darling Downs, Southwest Queensland.

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Australia’s incessant need for doctors certificates

18 Jul

Being from a country that doesn’t have government paid healthcare for all, I find it incredibly ridiculous that over here you need a doctors certificate for this, that, and the other thing.

For example: You’re sick. You need to stay home from work. Fair enough, but you need a doctors certificate. Yes, even though you know that  you have the flu and there’s nothing the doctor can actually do about it, you still need to drag your sick bottom out of bed and to the doctors office where you will sit uncomfortably in the waiting room for at least half an hour, just to tell the doctor you have the flu and need a doctors certificate saying that you are, in fact, sick. Yes, you would be far better off lying in bed at home, but you gotta have that certificate.

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Some employers allow you to have an entire day off sick before you need the certificate (i.e. you’d need to get it to stay home a second day). Wow, isn’t that great?! (yes that was sarcasm, in case you didn’t get that)

Sometimes you’re feeling quite ill, but there aren’t any offensive bodily fluids escaping from either end, so you decide to go to work anyway. I mean it’s not like you can just stay home to recuperate, you’d have to drag your sick self off to the doctor uselessly anyway, so you might as well drag your sick self out of bed and actually get paid for it.

Then you go to work and can’t give it 100% because you feel like death warmed up. Since you’re there instead of in bed at home where you should be, everyone else catches it too. The next day, everyone doesn’t feel like dragging their sick selves out of bed to the doctors for their stupid certificate, so they all go to work too. Now everyone is sick and only working to 50% because you all feel like death. What a great idea it was for employers to require a doctors certificate! Very productive (there’s that sarcasm again…).

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Or say I’m sick, and the kids are sick. I want Aaron to stay home with me to help out, but we’d have to get to the doctor. He can get a certificate to say that we’re sick and he’s helping. Yes, a certificate for the one who isn’t even sick.  But I don’t want or need to go to the doctor. This scenario happend earlier this week. Daniel was vomiting all night (for the first time ever), plus diarrhoea, and then I got the runs too.

I couldn’t go to the doctor. I had the sort of diarrhoea that doesn’t wait for anyone. You have to get to the toilet or it comes anyway. How would I get to the doctor without accidentally pooping myself on the way there? No thanks. Plus what could the doctor do anyway? I just had to ride it out.

And what about the money? Medicare is paid for by the government, i.e. taxpayers. So how much taxpayer money is wasted on ridiculous trips to the doctor just to get a stupid piece of paper to say that you are sick?

Plus, you don’t actually have to be sick to get the certificate. You can just go to any doctor, not your usual doctor, not one that knows you or your history, tell them you’ve got cramps, or the trots, or whatever, and they’ll write you a certificate. They don’t live with you, follow to the bathroom to see if you do indeed have water coming out of your bottom, or interrogate you to find out if your claims are true. Nope, they have so many patients to see, probably half of whom just need that piece of paper, that it’s in and out as quick as they can possibly move you.

Full time employees get 5 days of sick leave per year. Paid. So why do workers need to “prove” that they are sick? What difference does it make? They have 5 days of sick leave for a reason. If they want to waste them on hangovers from binge drinking , watching movies all day for the sake of it, or something like that, then whatever, it’s their 5 days. If they get sick later and need to take unpaid leave, then that’s what they have to do. If they do it all the time, then they’d get fired. So what, it’d be their own fault. We’re talking about adults here, not 5 year olds who say they have a tummy ache so they don’t have to clean their room.

You’d never need a doctors certificate for a sick day in the U.S. For one thing, millions of Americans don’t have health insurance. And health care is expensive over there. Most people wouldn’t stay home from work even if they were bottom-is-like-a-tap sick if they had to pay $85+ just for a piece of paper confirming their sickness.

Not to mention that the majority of health insurance over there is part of the employment package. The employer pays for the health insurance. So an employer certainly isn’t going to make the employee get a doctors certificate when the employer is the one paying for it. If everyone had to do that, the price of insurance would go up and then the employers would have to shell out more money for health insurance, or not offer it at all, driving millions more to the uninsured status.

I was thinking about writing about this today when I got a text from Hannah’s family daycare provider saying that I’d need a doctors certificate stating that she’s well, otherwise she can’t go to daycare on Thursday (how did she know Hannah was sick? She’s my friend, and saw it on Facebook. Note to self: share less on Facebook). Say what? A well certificate.

“Are you serious?” I texted back. “I need a certificate when she’s not going to your house for 2 more days and she’s not even sick today?”

Now I wasn’t mad at her or anything, I know it’s not her rule. Well maybe it is, and then I’m going to look like an ass, but I’m assuming it’s not (note, I wrote this yesterday, and now we’ve been to the doctor, and he says it’s a new government initiative) . It probably sounds mildly reasonable to people who grew up here, but I didn’t.

So now, I have to waste my morning going to the doctors office (instead of spending one on one time with Hannah while Daniel is napping), that’s filled with highly contagious people who are only there to get their stupid certificates. Daniel, Hannah and I will have to sit there next to all the sick people when we are not sick, and hopefully not infect ourselves with who knows what whilst we are there. All to get a piece of paper from my doctor who unless Hannah has any obvious signs of sickness (swollen this or that, blocked this or that, fever, you know, stuff like that), will write of piece of paper, and that’s it. He’s not at home with us, she could be pooping herself 10 times a day, and he’d have no idea. Of course I’d never send her to daycare like that, but you get my drift.

And then there’s the gym. You have to sign up in advance to put your kids in creche on a particular day. If that day comes and your kid wakes up sick and you can’t go, you have to either pay $5, or take them a doctors certificate. So $5 out of your own pocket, or $65+ out of the governments.

I don’t have any kids in school yet, but I’m sure you’d need a doctors certificate there too. Sigh.

There are people, many, many people in the world who can’t afford to go to the doctor when they desperately need to. And here we are, forced to go to the doctor needlessly, clogging up the system and costing the government lots of money. Ridiculous. I wonder how many lives could be saved if instead of going to the doctor for a doctors certificate, we could stay home and recuperate whilst that money would instead fund a trip to the doctor for someone who actually needed it. In a third world country, one of our doctor visits could pay for heaps of doctor visits. It’s so unfair. Sigh.

Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous?

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The gastro chronicles

25 Apr

I now know what it’s like living in fear.  Every strange sound makes me weary.  Every pained/sad/scared look freaks me out a little.  Every cough makes me skiddish.  I love getting hugs from Hannah, but her motives frighten me.  I turned the baby monitor’s sensitivity up as high as it will go (it’s usually on the lowest setting).  I can hear her every yawn, fart, sneeze and accidental hit on the cot rail.  I can hear her if she breathes too loud.  But that’s not why I turned it up.  I need to hear if she vomits.  Ick.  Vomit….  Sigh.  Hannah has gastro.  At least that’s what the after hours doctor said the night before last when I called and he came to our house at 9:30pm.  Bulk billed by the way (I didn’t have to pay anything, medicare pays it all.  How I love Australia’s health care system).

I don’t deal well with vomit.  I never have.  I’m not a vomiter.  Before my last pregnancy, I hadn’t vomited in 1o years.  That’s right people, 10 years! 10 beautiful, vomit free years.  I don’t even like the word vomit.  Or throw up, or chuck, or any word that even remotely relates to that horrid stomach action.  Yes, I have emetophobia (what, I googled it, it’s a real thing, and by golly, I’m not the only one who has it!).  Fear of vomiting.  Not just me vomiting, but also anyone even remotely near me.  The very thought of it freaks me out.

The other week, Aaron, or The Jess (can’t remember which, they both enjoy asking random would-never-happen-hypothetical questions) asked me which would I rather, if I had to be in the way of poo or vomit.  Most people wouldn’t hesitate (so I’ve been told), they’d say vomit.  They’d much rather have vomit on themselves than poo.  I thought about it a second.  “Poo.”  I said.  They looked at me like I was a complete nutbag.  “Well, poo can be just a little nugget that falls on your shoe and then rolls off.  vomit is never like that.  Vomit gets all over you.  Seriously, it depends on the particular poo or vomit.”  Emetophobic….

But now I’m a mum.  I have a toddler.  Toddlers get sick.  Toddlers do, on occasion, vomit.  Not like when they are babies and spit up milk, that’s not really vomit-y.  That doesn’t smell like vomit, doesn’t look like vomit, doesn’t really bother me (of course Hannah hardly ever spit up, so I guess I’m not really a good judge on the matter).  No, no, toddlers vomit just like adults.  I don’t know how they fit it all in those little tummies of theirs, but they vomit a lot.  And Hannah has this tendency to want her mommy right before she vomits.  She wants my comfort, she wants me to make her better.  I want to run the other way, screaming.  Now that I know she has gastro, I’m extremely weary of her.  What if she vomits on me?  I don’t even want to think about that.

It all started on Tuesday night.  She was happy.  Happily playing in the foyer of a dance studio where we were going to watch The Jess do her end of term performance.  And then it happened.  “Mommy,” she said to me all sad-like, jumping into my arms.  A second later, the eruption started.  Lucky for me, I have fast reflexes.  Without any thought, I immediately turned her around, away from me.  The vomit went all over the leather lounge.  Everyone stared at us, not knowing what to do or say.  The smell was overwhelming.  I put her down and ran over to the receptionist’s desk.

“I need some clean up over here!”  I frantically yelled like a mad woman as she was on her phone call.  I didn’t mean for her to clean it up, I just wanted something to clean it up with.  I’m sure it didn’t come across that way though.  I looked around the room like a chicken with my head cut off, desperately trying to find something to clean it up with.  Meanwhile, YaYa picked up Hannah and she started vomiting more.  There was vomit everywhere.  I finally noticed the bathroom sign and ran in to get some paper towels.

YaYa and I cleaned it up while everyone looked on, thoroughly disgusted.  Clearly none of these people had kids.  YaYa cleaned up most of it for me (phew) while I watched Hannah, made sure she didn’t kneel down, put her pointer finger on the floor and swirl around all the vomit.  For some reason, toddlers like to do that.  Strange little people….

The next morning she threw up again.  This time though, I knew she was sick.  I recognised the signs.  I held her over the sink and it all went straight in.  Easy clean up, no mess.  Still disgusting though.

She was hungry that night, and she perked up a lot.  She wanted blueberries.  She begged for some.  Aaron gave them to her.

The next morning, Aaron went in her room when she woke up and she handed him a now dry, regurgitated blueberry.  I’m so glad I wasn’t the one to get her up.  She’d vomited in the middle of the night, and then went back to sleep without complaint.  Or maybe she did it in her sleep, I’m not sure.  Either way, it was disgusting.  There was dried blueberry vomit all through her hair, her blankets, her sleepy suit, her bunny and her bear.  I put her straight in the bath, pulling out blueberries as I washed her hair.  Ick.  By the time I was finished, Grandma had already fixed her bed up (thank God for Grandma).

She didn’t vomit all day or night that day.  She was very happy, playing, energetic.  I only gave her bland foods, diluted apple juice with electrolytes (she won’t drink the electrolyte stuff by itself), no milk.

The next day she was also happy.  She desperately wanted some milk.  She seemed better, so I gave her a little.  For dinner, she had some kids ravioli, and then a little bit of milk.  She played happily.

But then she looked at me strangely.  And she erupted.  It was bad.  I’m pretty sure every single thing she ate and drank that day came up at that moment.  The rug in her room was vile.  The smell was horrid.  Puke was everywhere.  “Grandma!  She vomited!”  I grabbed a towel and tried to clean it up.  The smell was overwhelming.  I turned my head.  I could feel the contents of my stomach start to creep up.  I swallowed before they got too far up.  Grandma must have seen my torment and quickly came to my rescue.  I bolted out of that room with Hannah and stripped her clothes off, rinsed them and put them straight in the washing machine.  She was happy as Larry.  She wanted to help with the washing and played the whole time in the vomit-removal clean-up bath.

It just wasn’t like her.  Last time  she was sick (which was all the way back in September), she wasn’t happy, or playing.  She was miserable.  She sadly laid her head on my shoulder in misery until she got better.  She slept half the day.  No, something wasn’t right.

I called the after hours doctor who came a couple hours later (they were pretty busy) and checked her over.  No fever, clear ears, clear chest, no sign of heart failure (phew, I’m always scared of that when she’s sick, since she has a hole in her heart).  He listened to her tummy.  “Lots of noise going on in there!”  He told me.  “You can probably hear it just by putting your ear next to her stomach.  Yep, it’s gastro.”

“How long does it last?”  I asked him, “I mean, she first vomited on Tuesday.”  (that was Saturday by the way).

“It can last for 2 weeks.”  He told me.  Sigh.  He told me to keep her hydrated, give her lots of electrolytes, bland food, and no milk.

So now, every time she so much as looks at me funny, I silently freak out a little.  But I hug her anyway, because that is what I do.  I am her mom, and even though vomiting is petrifying to me, I love her, and it’s my duty to be there for her no matter how much it scares me.

UPDATE: 1 week after the first vomit – Hannah ate a lot today (all bland, rice bubbles (Rice Krispies), toast, rusks, mashed potato and tofu, grated apple, banana, and of course lots of electrolyte drink).  It’s almost bed time, and so far, no vomit today, thank goodness.

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