The risk for heart attack increases during the winter months and holidays. Arteries don't love the cold. Stress increases. Shovelling snow is hard. How can you prevent this? How do you know when you are having a heart attack? Let's discuss this!
Now, for the most part To The Beat will be focusing on resources across North America. However, sometimes it baffles me how many resources I come across related to health and safety in the Calgary area that are under utilized. This is mostly because people just don't know about them. Being a nurse, I use these resources regularly and can totally vouch for them. I will list the resources below and give you a quick play by play of what they offer. These are not in any particular order, they simply just came into my head this way.
MyHealthAB - This a great all around resource for EVERYONE, not just moms. It is also super well written. The entire site is very simple and easy to read. Whenever I have had troubles navigating it, using the search bar has gotten me where I needed to go. It also has little courses about certain topics. I have taken the concussion course on here and it was incredibly easy to do.
- You can sign up to be able to view your lab and test results. You get them when the doctor gets them. This is the autonomy that I have been waiting for. It is so awesome to finally be able to know your own test results and keep track of them. My husband was never someone who cared much about his health. However, since this feature has been enabled he has become interested in the values and what they mean AND taking care of himself to try to adjust those values.
- Emergency department wait times are available and accurate! So, now you can decide if driving all of the way to Alberta Children's Hospital is necessary or worth it. It includes urgent care wait times too, so if you have a non-emergency you do not HAVE to go to the emergency department if urgent care is open and relevant to your concern. Stay tuned, I will be doing an article that summarizes different areas of healthcare and when you would access each.
- Resource library - search by diagnosis, test, symptom, age group, medications, etc. Personally, I use this regularly at work for patients. When searching by age they have tons relative to babies and young children.
- Symptom checker - I used to use WebMD's symptom checker. However, this one is pretty specific and gives you local options for care such as call 811 versus visiting ED versus calling 911.
HEAL (Health Education and Learning) - A "what to do in emergencies" site specific to infants and young children. It's created and regulated by paediatric emergency physicians. It doesn't offer as much extensive information as the other resources I have listed. However, it is short, sweet and easy to use.
- Common illness symptoms and what to do about them. This website has a great breakdown in what to do about injury and illnesses that could result in potential emergency situations you may encounter with your young one.
Caring For Kids - Canadian Paediatricians resource and guidelines. I frequently used this website as a reference when creating Baby Basics. I go to this site anytime I think "I should ask my doctor". Unlike the other resources, this website is primarily in article form. This isn't a feature I love; it is just the way it is.
- Like the others, there is still a great resource centre for illness and injury on this site. It also has some articles about common tests and procedures. However, they are written more like articiles than the other sites.
- Health and wellness guides and resources from pregnancy to adolescents. This site has great articles and guides about maintaining a healthy lifestyle including healthy eating habits, exercise, mental wellness and more. I LOVE this because I really believe people need to be more proactive. However, I don't think people are particularly set up well to be proactive. If parents scanned through this section of the site, they are setting themselves up for success in many areas of their child's health.
- Safety recommendations. There isn't a whole lot in this section, unfortunately. However, the articles here include recommendations for your house, traveling and toys and, personally, I find they provide invaluable advice.
- Okay, this is the last thing I will highlight (only because this article will turn into an about page for Caring For Kids if I don't stop soon). There is a unique section on this website about parenting, behaviours and development. It is not a "how to parent" section. Instead, it has great articles about common struggles (ie. screen time, finding daycare, navigating online health articles, etc.).
Healthy Parents Healthy Children - When you get pregnant in Alberta, you will likely receive this book. There is two parts. The first is Pregnancy and newborn related and the second is The Early Years. This website literally has the PDF of this book. However, it also has interactive tools and a search function so you can easily find what you are looking for. This is much more handy than having so turn page upon page tryingto find it is what you are looking for.
- I mentioned some tools, here they are: due date calculator, safe sleep assessment, developmental timeline and weightgain calculator.
- There are interactive learning tools about pregnancy, birth control, STI's and folic acid
- Well summarized information from pregnancy to preschool age children. There are two sections "I am pregnant" or "I am a parent". The pregnancy category is divided by trimester, labour and delivery, then postpartum. The parenting category is divided by the child's age. It is super smart! However, if you are looking for something more specific, you can always use the search bar.
- Lastly, you have the ability to download the PDF version of the book on this site. It is also organized the same way as I listed in the above bullet.
To summarize this summary, there are actually LOTS of great resources related to maternal and child health and safety. You just have to have had someone tell you about them at some point! I know I received cards with this information on it when I was discharged from the hospital and my family doctor regularly refers to Caring For Kids. However when I chat with other new parents, they do not have the same experience. I should also mention, this list is not exclusive! There are other resources out there. However, I prefer these ones personally and professionally.
If you don't feel like weeding through all of these resources and you have an infant, I have done this for you with my course Baby Basics! Baby Basics is an online course that provides video demonstration and audio/visual instruction about all things related to infant health and safety! We also have brief workshops in the Calgary area!
If you are more interested in courses related to maternal health and wellness, stay tuned for our course Preparing for Postpartum! You can stay in the loop by subscribing!