The sun is out and the temperature is rising! People are escaping the indoors to enjoy some time outside such as in the backyard, at the baseball field, or at the lake. Will you be doing the any of these? Whatever activity it is that you participate in, how do you protect yourself from the sun? Friday, May 25th is “Don’t Fry Day” and brings awareness to protecting our bodies from skin cancer.
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common and most preventable cancer out there? Skin cancer is caused by being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Where do UV rays come from? The sun and tanning beds both expose our skin to these types of rays. It is important to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from them. Read the following bullet points for some tips to decrease your risk of skin cancer!
- Spend your time outside in the shade, especially between 10a and 2p when the UV rays are strongest.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wear a wide brim hat and sunglasses
- Apply sunscreen at least every two hours and after you towel off or get out of the water
- Avoid tanning beds!
UV rays from the sun can start causing damage to your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Even when it’s cloudy you still need to protect yourself. Keep an eye out for signs of skin cancer such as a new growth, sore that doesn’t heal, or change in a mole. The CDC has also posted a list of traits that may increase the risk of skin cancer:
- A lighter natural skin color.
- Family history of skin cancer.
- A personal history of skin cancer.
- Exposure to the sun through work and play.
- A history of sunburns, especially early in life.
- A history of indoor tanning.
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
- Blue or green eyes.
- Blond or red hair.
- Certain types and a large number of moles.
Even if you don’t have these traits, you can still get skin cancer. If you notice any changes in your skin, contact your doctor! Keep your body healthy and safe this summer by protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays!
2016 statistics show that there is an average of 1 poison exposure reported to U.S. poison control centers every 14.6 seconds. Fortunately, not all reported incidents resulted in an actual poisoning. Do you know how to avoid a poisoning incident or what to do in the case a possible poisoning does occur? The Health Resources and Services Administration has dedicated March 15-21 as Poison Prevention Week to bring awareness. Read on to learn more about poison prevention and care.
- A good start to preparing for or handling a poison incident is to have the Poison Help line written in a convenient location. That number is 1-800-222-1222. Keep the number in your phone and have a magnet on your fridge.
- Poison proof your home. Keep medications in properly labeled containers and stored appropriately. Have properly functioning carbon monoxide detectors near bedrooms and furnaces. Keep cleaning supplies in proper containers and out of reach of children. Keep an eye on children when they are using craft supplies that may be made with chemicals and wash all surfaces after contact with the supplies. Use proper food preparation and storage techniques such as washing hands before handling food and storing foods at proper temperatures. Know what animals, insects, and plants are in your area that may be poisonous such as snakes and mushrooms.
- What do you do if you suspect a possible poisoning? Do your best to stay calm and call the Poison Help line. Doing so may save you a trip to the Emergency Room. However, if the person is not breathing you must call 911. When you call the help line, an expert will be able to help you by giving first aid advice. If the poison was inhaled, get fresh air immediately. If the poison came in contact with the body, take off clothing that has been touched by the poison and rinse the skin with running water for 15-20 minutes. If the poison in in the eyes, rinse the eyes with running water for 15-20 minutes.
Being aware of possible poisoning incidents will help you be better prepared when a real incident occurs. Know what materials and organisms may be putting you at risk. Finally, if an incident does occur, do not wait for signs of a poisoning to call for help.
It’s finally fireworks season! There is a lot of fun packed into fireworks as there is a huge variety! Loud, quiet, big, small, what is your preference? These exploding pieces of entertainment are so fun, but don’t let them end up putting a damper on your Fourth of July celebration! Incorporate the following safety tips to ensure a night full of fun and prevent potentially serious accidents.
- Know the laws of your city in regards to fireworks and follow them!
- Read instructions and warning labels before lighting. Know what the firework will do so you know what to expect to ensure the safety of others in the area.
- Responsible adults should supervise the use of fireworks. Fireworks should not be lit by someone under the influence of alcohol.
- Wearing safety glasses can protect your eyes from debris and sparks.
- Light one firework at a time and back away quickly.
- Do not relight “duds.” Instead, wait 20 minutes then put it in a bucket of water.
- Have a bucket of water nearby.
- Do not put fireworks in pockets or shoot them into glass or metal containers.
- Avoid the use of homemade fireworks.
- If you have pets, make sure they had IDs and keep them in a safe place.
- If it is windy, make sure the wind won’t blow the fireworks into the crowd or wait to light the fireworks until the wind dies down.
Follow these rules and use common sense when around fireworks. It may seem ridiculous to have so many rules, but they are there to protect everyone! Have a fun and safe fireworks season!
Summer is finally here! Now you can spend your time at the lake, going camping, attending baseball games, and going swimming! These outdoor activities are exciting and fun. It would be unfortunate if the high heat had to ruin it! Heat illnesses cause more deaths per year than the combination of hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes, and floods! Death can be the result of very severe cases of heat illness, but many people are victims of heat illness and are able to recover if proper action is taken. There are several factors that affect the risk of getting heat illness:
- Climate – those who live in hot and humid environments have a higher risk
- Exercise and Activity – these can make it even harder for the body to cool off
- Age – the elderly and young children are more at risk
- Pre-existing illness and conditions – these may affect how the body responds to heat
- Drugs and Medications – Some may make a person more susceptible to dehydration
Here is a list of heat illnesses:
- Heat Cramps: these are painful, involuntary muscle contractions that are a result of strenuous activity in high heat. Loss of fluids and electrolytes are the underlying cause
- To treat heat cramps, rest then massage and stretch the cramped muscles. Also make sure to drink fluids.
- Heat Exhaustion: this illness occurs when lost fluid is not replaced. Signs and symptoms include weakness, dizziness, rapid and weak pulse, heavy sweating, nausea, fainting, and more. Heat cramps can also occur.
- The first thing you should do if you are experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion is to remove yourself from the heat. You will then want to cool your body down by removing excess clothing, spraying body with cool water or applying cool, wet cloths to skin, and rehydrating with an electrolyte drink such as Gatorade or just drinking milk.
- Heat Stroke: this is the most serious heat illness. The body is not able to cool itself down. The main signs and symptoms include a body temperature above 104 degrees, flushed skin, decreased level of consciousness, altered mental status, convulsions/seizures, and unconsciousness.
- To treat a heat stroke, the most important thing to do is to seek medical help immediately. Next you will want to try to cool the body using ice water soaked towels until medical help arrives. Bringing down the body temperature helps to reduce the chance and severity of brain damage, organ failure, and death.
It is so important to understand and know how to take care of heat illnesses. Although staying out of the heat is encouraged, at least try to limit your time exposed to the heat and take frequent breaks in the shade. Limit your time outside between 11am and 6pm which is when the heat is highest. It is also important to stay hydrated. Remember to wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Don’t let the heat put a damper on your summer fun!
American Red Cross emergency medical response. Yardley, PA: StayWell Health & Safety Solutions, 2011. Print.
May is National Osteoporosis Month!
“The Break Free from Osteoporosis campaign encourages everyone to get to know their risk factors for osteoporosis and make the lifestyle changes needed to build strong bones for life”
What is Osteoporosis?
It is a medical condition in which bones become weak, brittle, and fragile from the loss of tissue.
“There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones and body. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood, but it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever your age may be, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life”
For some more facts on Osteoporosis, click here.
Now is the time to take action!
What can you do to protect your bones?
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D
- Eat a well balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day
- All in all, LIVE HEALTHY.
To learn more about what you can do to protect your bones, click here: http://nof.org/learn/prevention
To learn more on National Osteoporosis Month and to spread awareness, click here:
National Handwashing Awareness Week 2014 (December 1st–7th)
Handwashing is one of the easiest tasks we do on a day to day basis.
It’s also the easiest and most effective way to prevent infectious diseases, such as colds and the flu, which we all know that the season is upon us!
So the questions are:
When should you wash your hands?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash your hands:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
What is the right way to wash your hands?
Again, according to the CDC, the right steps of handwashing includes:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer.
For more info on these check out: http://www.cdc.gov/features/handwashing/
The World Health Organization states that “simple hand-washing could save up to 1 million lives each year” around the globe.
Do your part and spread awareness instead of germs!
Data from drugabuse.gov, defines drug addiction as:
A chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her.
You can learn more about understanding drug abuse and addiction at http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction.
At the moment, we are nationally celebrating the Red Ribbon Campaign, which has everything to do with drug addiction awareness and prevention.
The annual National Red Ribbon Celebration provides drug awareness by touching millions of children and families. Organizations such as, the National Family Partnership, reach out to communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
According to redribbon.org, this years theme is “Love Yourself, Be Drug Free”. It was created by Alexa Dougherty, a 7th grader from New York. She says:
“I came up with the theme, ‘Love Yourself. Be Drug Free,’ because drugs are such a harmful thing for your body,” said Alexa. “If you are choosing not to take them, you obviously love yourself because you aren’t harming yourself. “
Go to http://redribbon.org/events/ to see how you can help, sometimes even locally. Join the pledge as well.
Love yourself and fight against drugs!