Spending time together keeps Emily VinZant, MD, and her daughter happy all summer
Emily VinZant, MD, is happy to serve as a Via Christi Clinic family medicine physician in her hometown of Wichita. She joined the clinic at 990 S. George Washington Blvd. earlier this year. '
Not many people know that she went through her first semester of medical school while pregnant with her daughter, Ella, and the two of them went through all of her training together.
She and Ella like to spend as much time together as they can, especially in the summer when they can spend more time outside. They love to swim and do yoga together. Dr. VinZant’s advice to parents? “Be active with your kids and don’t miss out on summer.”
1 Treat swimmer’s ear
Outer-ear infections increase in the summer with kids spending so much time in fresh water, whether it’s in a lake or a pool. Symptoms may include ear pain or itching, a sensation of fullness, hearing loss, drainage or a mild fever.
If you think your child has swimmer’s ear, see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Common treatments include antibiotic eardrops, acetaminophen or a wick
to allow medication to penetrate swelling
2 Use sunscreen
Use a broadspectrum sunscreen — one that passes the FDA’s tests for protection from UVA and UVB rays. Today’s labeling system caps protection levels at SPF 50 — anything higher will be labeled 50+. Apply the sunscreen at
least 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun to allow the formation of a
protective film on your skin. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours, or more often if you spend time in the water. Water-resistant sunscreens maintain their SPF protection for about 40 to 80 minutes of activity in the water.
3 Bicycle passenger safety
Children under age 1 should not ride as a passenger on a bicycle, and even trailers are unsafe for infants. For children ages 1-4, mounted bicycle seats are OK, but trailers are safer. And if you have children riding in a trailer, make sure they wear helmets.
4 Stay active
There are a number of terrific resources in the area to help you find activities suitable for your family. Dr. VinZant and her daughter have particularly enjoyed completing the Kansas Wildscape Foundation’s Wildlifer Challenge. You and your kids complete 15 of 20 challenges and take a picture while doing each one. There are cool prizes, too. For more information, visit kansaswildlifer.com.
5 Get your school physical
Call and schedule your child’s school physical early, and schedule it with your
family physician to ensure a comprehensive exam. Your physician will make sure immunizations are up to date, check heart and lungs. If any additional testing is needed you will have time to schedule it before school starts. This appointment is your physician’s time to promote health, detect disease and counsel your child on how to remain healthy.
Go to viachristiclinic.com/VinZant to learn more about Dr. VinZant and her approach to medicine.