Buncrana Medical Centre Youth Advice

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Driver Safety

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on August 3, 2013 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (23)

With the bank holiday weekend approaching, the busiest time of the year on Irish roads, we urge everyone to read and take on board the advice in this article. Some of this advice is simple, yet it can save your life!

1) Drive at a safe speed – keep within the speed limits or slower if conditions dictate. When it rains keep in mind that braking distances increase and your car could slide.

2) Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front – if the vehicle brakes sharply, you will have time to react and prevent an accident. There should be at least a two seconds gap between you and the car in front.

3) Always wear a seatbelt – Protect yourself and others in the car by wearing your seatbelt.

4) Give the road your full attention – Do not answer mobiles, change radio stations or do anything which causes you to become distracted from your driving. It only takes a split second lapse of concentration to cause an accident.

5) Never Ever drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Designate a driver who will get you home safely or arrange a lift with a family member or a taxi. Alcohol slows your reaction time and greatly inhibits your driving ability.

6) Check your car – before you go out to drive check the most important parts of your car. Tyre pressure and thread depth, oil levels, lights (headlights, brake lights, indicators and brake lights etc) and windscreen. If there are any problems get them fixed before travelling on the road.

7) If you are tired, pull over and stop at a safe place – Put the heater on cold, put the window down and turn the radio up. Driver fatigue is a serious issue, if you are tired, pull over and sleep for a while.

Whether you are traveling to watch Donegal play or to a festival, please keep in mind that as a driver you are responsible for the safety of yourself, occupants of your car and other road users.

Let’s enjoy the bank holiday weekend, but let it be a safe one!

(Visit www.rsa.ie for more information)


Sports Injuries

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

If you play sport, at some point or another you’re likely to pick up an injury. Whether it’s a painful broken bone or a niggling sore muscle, it can be a real nuisance to heal. Here is some advice to aid your recovery when you pick up an injury.

• Stop, do not play on. Pain is how your body tells you that something isn’t right. If you persist to play on you could be making the problem worse.

• RICE. If you pick up a muscle injury or have swelling, we recommend the RICE procedure:

Rest – However eager you are to play or run with an injury don’t. Rest is the main healer, if you keep aggravating an injury by moving about it won’t get any better.

Ice. Keep an ice pack on the sore area. Do this immediately after the injury and for a few hours in the following days. Cooling the injury will reduce swelling and inflammation which will speed up recovery.

Compress. Keep the injury compressed, this will help reduce swelling and prevent fluid from rushing to the injury.

Elevate. Keeping the injured area elevated will prevent fluid from rushing to it and reduce swelling.

• If the problem still persists, visit your GP. They will make an expert assessment of the injury and may refer you to the hospital for an x-ray or scan.

Following these steps can reduce the time it takes to make a FULL recovery. Do not rush back to playing the sport as you will have been weakened by the injury. Rushing back means you risk a reoccurrence of the injury.


Safe Swimming

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 25, 2013 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Cooling off in the water feels great on a warm day, cliff jumping can give you the adrenaline rush you’re looking for and canoeing can be a fun way to spend the day. If you are planning on doing any of these water activities, you should keep in mind the dangers that water poses. Below we will outline our advice on how to stay safe in the sea.

Our ten tips to safe swimming:

1) Learn to swim. Take lessons at the local leisure centre, it could save your life or someone else’s.

2) Never swim alone. Go out in a group and inform family members where you are going and what time you plan to come back.

3) Carry your mobile phone. If your arrangements change, you can inform a family member so they aren’t worrying about you. It also allows you to phone the gardai, ambulance or coast guard in case of emergency. You should have these numbers saved on your phone. We will make them available on this wesbsite.

4) Be aware of locations of life rings on the beach. This will allow you to react quickly in case of an emergency.

5) Watch out for rip currents. These are very dangerous and can pull you quickly out to sea. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.

6) Learn to swim. If you can’t swim, the sea is not the place to learn! If you do want to go in the water, do not go out of you depth, no further than up to your waist in the water.

7) Wear a life jacket. If you are canoeing, surfing or sailing makes sure you have on a life jacket which fits correctly.

8 ) Learn CPR. It gives tremendous peace of mind and saves lives. We will post any courses that become available on this webpage and the facebook page.

9) Do not swim after eating. Wait at least one hour after eating before going swimming.

10) Never go into the water if you have taken alcohol or drugs. If you are on medication or have had a few drinks, do not take the risk of putting yourself and others in danger.

Have fun while in the water but be very vigilant. Watch out for others who may be struggling and be aware of any dangers in the area.


Exam Stress

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Soon enough, it will be back to school again and with school comes exams, and for some people a lot of stress.

Stress can be a serious issue, and if not dealt with properly it can have serious impact on your health. Some of the symptoms of stress include: Mood swings, memory problems, feeling over whelmed, aches and pains, isolating yourself and nervous habits (nail biting). If you think you are stressed, look out for these symptoms and try to deal with it. In this article we will be looking at how to deal with stress and in particular exam stress.

Try some of these tips to help cope with the pressure and stress that come with exams:

1) Eat well. Stress can cause you to focus so much on one thing and ignore what your body is telling you. Always have your three main meals, get your five a day and ensure you’re getting your required nutrients and vitamins. This will keep your brain active, help your memory and keep your body healthy. All this will help you with those important exams.

2) Get a proper sleep. Keeping your body well rested will ensure you take in the vital information for the exam. You will be more alert, have better recall memory and just feel better. Lack of sleep is a big contributor to stress.

3) Exercise. Take a couple of hours per day to take some time out and increase your heart rate. Getting the blood flowing around your body will help you concentrate for longer and reduce the stress of studying for hours without break.

4) Get help. Whether it’s from your teacher to help you understand the material better or from your parents to help you cope with the stress. Talking to someone can take the load off a bit, you may receive some wise advice or understand something that didn’t sink in first time round. Remember: A problem shared is a problem halved.

5) Don’t put added pressure on yourself. You can only give your best in an exam, stressing about them will not improve your result. Work hard, but if the results don’t go your way, it’s not the end of the world. No exam is so important that it should have an adverse effect on your health.

6) Try some meditation. Take some time to breath, clear your head and relax your body.

If stress is affecting your life or study and you need help or advice, contact your GP to make an appointment.


Checking yourself for lumps: Girls Guide

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 23, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Girls, checking for lumps on your breasts is all about some TLC!

TOUCH your breasts. Can you feel anything unusual?

LOOK for changes. Is there any change in shape or texture?

CHECK anything unusual with your GP.

You know your own body better than anyone – there’s no special technique and you don’t need any training.

Get into the habit of doing this regularly – maybe when you’re in the bath or shower, or while getting dressed in the morning. The important thing is to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel normally, so you notice anything unusual.

Early detection increases the chances of curing it!

**Remember to check the whole breast area, including your upper chest and armpits**


General Well Being

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We all want to feel well both mentally and physically. By following a few simple steps you can feel more energetic and confident in your body.

The best way to boost energy levels is regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of good exercise a day will help you feel better. Exercise will improve your fitness, can improve brain power, help you lose weight and improve your mood. Why wouldn’t you do it? Why not join the local GAA or soccer clubs in the area? It's a great way to get fit and make new friends!

Stop smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Save money and improve health by this simple step. You will reduce your risk of many cancers, increase oxygen travelling around the body and increase your energy levels.

Get into a routine sleeping pattern. A good night’s sleep can be one of the best healers. Some studies suggest that one hour sleep before midnight is worth double. It is recommended to get at least eight hours sleep each night to maintain your body’s proper functioning. 

Increase water intake. Your body is made up of more than 70% water, so it is an essential part of your functioning. You couldn’t survive no longer than three days without water. Water is important for cell life, transport of nutrients, regulating body temperatures and waste elimination.

Eat a balanced diet. Make a meal plan to ensure you get your proper intake of vitamins, nutrients and calories. Having the correct amounts will ensure your body is functioning to its maximum, making you feel better and more energetic.

Take ten minutes out of your busy day to think of all the good things you have and are grateful for. Your family, friends and health etc. Consider how lucky you are compared to people in poverty stricken, disease ridden areas. Being thankful for what you have can improve your mental health, improving your outlook in life.


Quick Drugs Overview

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

There may come a time in your life when you feel pressured into drugs. If that situation does arise, just stop and think of the harm you could be doing to yourself and others.


What are drugs?

A drug is any chemical you take that affects the way your body works. Alcohol and caffeine are both drugs. Alcohol is a depressant meaning it slows the functioning of your nervous system, while caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. These type of drugs are legal, while there are many others which are illegal to possess or take.


What drugs are there?

1) Marijuana (dope, grass, pot, reefer, weed, cannabis)

2) Ecstasy (E tablets)

3) Rohypnol (date rape drug, roofies)

4) Methamphetamine (speed, meth, glass, crystal)

5) Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD, acid)

6) Diacetylmorphine (Heroin )

7) Cocaine (coke, crack)


What effect do the drugs have?

Each drug has different effects on the body. The fact most of these drugs are illegal they are not regulated by anyone. This means you cannot tell the strength or quality of the drugs, meaning they can have fatal effects on people. We will be doing articles on each of the individual drugs, which will provide more information on their effects and risks. The simple message is: Don’t take the risk of having these dangerous, unregulated drugs in your system.

Are you or someone you know taking drugs? Make an appointment to talk to one of the GP's in Buncrana Medical Centre today. It could save a life.

Safe Drinking

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 23, 2013 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s Summer! The days are long, the weather is good and college is finished. What better way to end the day than going out with friends for a few drinks? We agree, it’s hard to top relaxing in good company, but when do a few drinks become too many?

Here are a few tips for safe drinking:

1) Drink at your own pace and know your limit.


2) Have a substantial meal a few hours before starting to drink.


3) Make sure you know how you’re getting home at the end of the night. Appoint a designated driver or arrange a lift. Never ever drink and drive.


4) Drink a glass of water between drinks and at the end of the night. (It will help with the hangover as well!)


5) You know your body better than anyone. If you feel you’re getting too drunk, stop. It’s up to you to be responsible.


6) Don’t allow anyone force you to drink. It’s your choice how you enjoy your night.

7) Don't drink at all. 

Just remember, great nights do not have to be fuelled by alcohol. Good friends make good memories.

If you have any concerns about how much you or a friend are drinking, or the effects that alcohol has on your body, make an appointment to see your GP in the surgery.



Safe Sex

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 20, 2013 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Being a teenager can be a tough time. With increasing talk about sex, guys, girls and all sorts amongst your friends, you can feel pressurised into losing your virginity. Firstly, never allow someone to pressure you into having sex and that the time should feel right for both people involved. Remember: no means no, and drunken sex isn’t necessarily consensual.

If you do feel you’re ready to become sexually active, you should be prepared. Always carry a condom in your wallet or purse, whether you’re male or female. It’s better to be safe than sorry. A condom will prevent you from catching an STI or getting pregnant. Girls can receive the pill from the surgery. Call in and talk to your GP in confidence for more advice and support.

Always keep in mind that the age of consent in the UK and Northern Ireland is 16 whereas here in Ireland it is 17.


Checking yourself for lumps: Guys Guide

Posted by ccccccjjjjjj on July 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s simple, not everyone does it, but it could save your life.

Guys, check your testicles for lumps. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34. If detected early, it is very curable and can be done quite easily.

Check your testicles frequently. There is no strict guidelines, however once a fortnight is enough. Get to know the shape and size of your testicles so you can detect lumps easier if they do develop.

To check yourself, place your thumbs on top of one testicle and the index and middle fingers of both hands on the underside. Gently rub the testicles, checking for any lumps or abnormalities.

If you feel any lumps or you are concerned about anything, get to your GP as soon as possible. Even if it isn’t cancerous it is better to be safe than sorry.