Our lives are ruled by calendars. For most of us the year is broken down into two semesters and a summer, and punctuated by holiday weeks and weekends. Even when you are past the point where you have children in a school of some sort, that rhythm tends to remain. It provides a framework to manage our lives with.
This concept is valuable when you plan your medical blog, too. If you keep these annual landmarks in mind, you can flesh out your editorial calendar with timely topics. It’s not particularly valuable to blog about the flu shot at the end of May. Nor is it all that helpful to write about swimming pool safety in January (unless you are in Australia, then carry on.)
So here we are at the end of May. What are some topics that would be beneficial this time of year? I’ve come up with a few for you to consider.
- Stimulant use in teens. It’s the time of year when overachieving teens and college students are pulling all-nighters preparing for AP and final exams. Deaths related to powdered caffeine have been reported, and parents need to be aware of these issues so they can talk to their children about these dangers.
- Swimming pool and water safety. The CDC reports that there were around ten drowning deaths per day between 2005 and 2009. Many other submersion injuries require intensive care and lead to disability. If you have a practice that sees children or families, this is a topic that should be approached with your patients. Most people understand water safety, but we all get complacent. That reminder is critical.
- Sunscreen. Summer is here and we are all headed out to bask in the sun’s cancer-causing rays. A primer on sunscreen use and the best ways to prevent sun damage is timely right now.
- Heat awareness. It’s hot outside and heat can pose extreme danger, particularly for the elderly. An explanation of the dangers of heat and the signs and symptoms to watch for is valuable info.
- Diet tips. This is such an easy time to write about a healthy diet. The Farmers’ Markets are bursting with delicious berries, fruits and vegetables. A discussion of the importance of a varied diet and the need to take advantage of these healthy foods when they are in season is perfect as June approaches.
- Travel health. Many of your patients will be taking a vacation this summer. Help them travel healthy with a primer on car, plane and cruise-ship travel. Information on what to pack, things to watch out for, and how to handle an urgent medical situation when away from home will help your patients get the most out of their vacation.
As you plan your editorial calendar, you can use this same approach for other times of year. Fill in your calendar with these types of timely topics. Leave gaps for items that pop up in the news or new research that will be interesting for your patients.
When you write about these topics, don’t forget to personalize them for your practice and your geographic area. For example, give information on local resources that relate to these topics. This can offer the double benefit of helping your search engine rankings while making it more relevant for your patients and potential patients. It will make you the go-to-doc for their medical questions.
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Photo Credit: © Mat Hayward / Dollar Photo Club