September 15, 2023

This Week

  • Top of Mind - Children and Sports
  • Ways To Control Your Blood Pressure Without Meds
  • You Can Stay Fit With 4,000 Steps Per Day
  • Nutrition Expert Andrea Breaux Joins Our Newsletter Crew Today
  • COVID Update: Yes COVID is Back
  • What To Do If You Have a Sore Throat

Top of Mind

Remember the good old school days? When teachers asked who wanted to play volleyball, football, or baseball, we'd gather 'round, take a shot at tryouts, and if you had the skills, you got to play! It was the perfect way to get active, learn character traits, and - most importantly - have a good time.

But those times seem to be long gone. Nowadays, if you want to play a team sport, it feels like you have to make that decision early and join leagues for little ones. As a pediatrician, I've noticed concerning trends in how kids and parents approach sports these days.

Let's talk about the parents. They spend too much time glued to the TV, watching newly drafted players promise fancy houses to parents. On the golf course, I see tiny tots carrying bags bigger than themselves, parents hoping for the next Tiger Woods. I recently attended a pee wee league football game, and the parents' behavior surprised me. Loud, angry, and demanding to "put my kid in" - it's a real spectacle.

Now, let's talk about the children themselves. They fall into two main categories. First, those with true talent and early involvement in organized sports. By middle or high school, they already know their talents or have solid experience in their chosen sport. Then there are others - talented but lacking experience - and sadly, they often get weeded out. Of course, there's always room for the "natural athlete" who shines no matter when they come into the system.

It's time to shake up this system of kids in sports. The lessons learned through organized sports are invaluable. Of course, we need to be careful not to start too early or jeopardize safety. What we really need are more opportunities for any kid who wants to participate. And have a lot more fun! Parents, it's time to accept that not every child is destined to be a superstar.

Stay Healthy,

Dr. Mike

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Ways to Control Your Blood Pressure Without Meds

You don't always need medicine to control your blood pressure. Some steps you can take to control it include: change your diet, reduce your salt intake, lose weight, exercise, manage your stress, stop smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption. Hypertension is still one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes in our community. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. 130/80 is now considered mild Hypertension.

You Can Stay Fit With 4,000 Steps Per Day

Recent studies suggest that adding an additional 500 to 1,000 daily steps into your exercise program can yield substantial improvements in cardiovascular health. If you take 4,000+ steps per day it can significantly decrease the risk of dying from any cause. Seems like a small price to pay for such a big reward. Better than the stock market!

COVID Update

Late summer surge! Hospitalizations have increased by 24% in the first two weeks of August 2023 with outbreaks in schools, camps and office buildings. The new variant EG.5 is now dominant with most people getting 2, 3 or 4 infections. The new vaccine will become available in mid September, so at least consider wearing a mask when you think you SHOULD have one on.

What To Do If You Have a Sore Throat

Feeling under the weather with a sore throat? Here's a quick guide:

1️⃣ Patience is key! Give it a day or two—virus infections often improve on their own.

2️⃣ Severe pain? Reach out to your doctor for a culture. Antibiotics are typically reserved for Strep (STEP).

3️⃣ Consider your cold medicine but keep in mind, results vary.

4️⃣ If that scratchy throat lingers for 4-5 days, consider other culprits like Mononucleosis.

Stay well and take care of your throat!

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About the Editor 

Dr. Michael LeNoir is just your neighborhood doc — a world-renowned allergist, a board-certified pediatrician, recognized expert on asthma in inner cities, and the President and Founder of AAWP. Serving the Bay Area since 1977, Dr. LeNoir has dedicated his career to helping African Americans navigate a healthcare system he saw first-hand that is fundamentally build on racial biases. Read More

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