Summer Fun and Health

summerfun

Summer Fun and Health

Fun in the SunSurviving the Summer Heat

Fun in the Sun

Summertime can be a lot of fun.  But being outdoors also can take a toll on adults as well as children.  The sun can be dangerous and we need to be aware of how it can take a lot out of our bodies.  Take a minute and click on the icons to the left to review summer tips.

Anyone can suffer from heat related illness, but some are at greater risk than others.  Persons over the age of 65 and those you have problems with the kidneys, heart, lung and being overweight. Babies under the age of 6 months need to be kept out of direct sunlight.  If possible a shade tree or protective clothing is needed.

Take care of yourself and be smart and drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated.

Here are just a few tips for being safe in the sun:

•   Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Find a shade under a tree, an umbrella, or under the canopy of a stroller.
•   When possible, dress yourself and your children in cool, comfortable clothing that covers the body, such as lightweight pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats.
•   Wear a hat with a brim all away around to shield your face, ears, and back of your neck.
•   Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm when UV rays are strongest.
•   Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection. Look for child-sized sunglasses with UV protection for your child.
•   Use sunscreen and keep reapplying as needed for extended exposure to the sun.

Sunscreen needs to be applied about every 2 hours as needed.  It’s best to rub the sunscreen in around 15 minutes before having direct sunlight to allow sunscreen to soak up into the skin.

For more information on the sunscreen and your skin click here

For information on skin cancer click here

Recreational Water Illness

What is Recreational Water Illness?

 RWI is the result of the injestion of microorganisms which live in untreated water.
     Organisms that can cause recreational water illness (RWI) can be found in swimming pools, water parks, water spray parks, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Some organisms, like Cryptosporidium that causes diarrhea, can even live for days in well-maintained pools treated with chlorine.  Cryptosporidium infection (cryptosporidiosis) is a gastrointestinal disease.  The primary symptom is diarrhea. This illness begins when the tiny cryptosporidium parasite enters your body and travels to your small intestine. Cryptosporidium then begins its life cycle inside your body — burrowing into the walls of your intestines and then later being shed in your feces.

In most healthy people, a cryptosporidium infection produces watery diarrhea and the infection usually goes away within a week or so. If you have a compromised immune system, a cryptosporidium infection can become life-threatening without proper treatment.

Three steps swimmers can do to help keep germs
from causing illnesses (RWIs) at the pool:

Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. Your germs can spread in the water and make other people sick.

  Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.

  Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

Three Steps for Parents of Young Kids
to keep germs out of the pool:

Take your kids on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Don’t wait to hear “I have to go” before taking them, it may be to late.

   Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside. Germs can spread in and around the pool.

  Wash your child thoroughly (especially the rear end) with soap and water before swimming. Invisible amounts of fecal matter can end up in the pool.

For more information check out these websites:

Center for Disease – Definition of Cryptosporidiosis

Breakdown on Cryptosporidium from Wikipedia

Center for Disease Control – Answers & Questions about RWI’s

Surviving the Summer Heat

People spend time outside mowing lawns, gardening, and doing many other outdoor activites during the summer months. Staying outside in the sun all day to play being very active and getting to warm can have negative affects on you body if your not careful. When it comes to summer heat, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing. 
When the temperature is 95 degrees or above, stay out of the sun and keep activity to a minimum
 Spend as many hours as possible in a cool place
Drink plenty of fluids; quench your thirst and then some.  Avoid alcohol
 Eat regularly
 If you feel unusually weak, dizzy or confused GET HELP
 If you know elderly, chronically ill or incapacitated persons, check them as frequently as possible

The heat index is how the heat-humidity combined makes it feel outside. The heat index (HI) is an accurate measure of how hot it really feels when the affects of humidity are added to high temperature.

When the heat index is between 90° F and 105° F sunstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion are possible with prolonged exposure and physical activity. When the index is between 105° F and 129° F sunstroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion is likely and heatstroke is possible. Heat indexes of 130° or higher heatstroke and sunstroke are extremely likely with continued exposure.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion include


Heavy sweating
Paleness
Muscle cramps
Tiredness
Weakness
Dizziness
Headache
Nausea or vomiting
Fainting

Your skin may be cool and moist. Your pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.

Cooling Centers Vs Heat

Senior Citizens and young children are especially acceptable to heat exhaustion!  If you have friends, relatives, or neighbors who do not have air conditioning in their home or apartment, check on them routinely during periods of extreme heat.

When over heating (heat exhaustion) becomes a problem, seniors may relocate during the day to Cooling Centers.

Cooling Centers

To check the heat index in your area click here and scroll down

More information available on Heat Index here

UV Light/Summer Sun/Tanning

Sun Burns . . . Why it happens:

      When UV rays reach your skin, they damage cells in the epidermis. Your immune system increases blood flow to the affected areas. The increased blood flow is what gives sunburn its red tint and makes the skin feel warm to the touch. At the same time, the damaged skin cells release chemicals that send messages through the body until they are translated as a painful burning sensation by the brain. White blood cells, which help protect you from infection and disease, attack and remove the damaged skin cells. It is this process of removing damaged cells that can cause sunburned skin to itch and peel.

Tanning with the Sun vs a Bed……..Tanning outdoors:


    
It is more difficult to tan safely outdoors than it is to tan indoors.  When you tan outdoors you cannot control the outdoor elements.  Hazy overcast days usually have more water vapor in the atmosphere and the sun rays can fool you and be more intense than you think.

On a clear day the UV rays are composed of direct and scattered radiation. The sky looks blue because the blue rays from sunlight are highly scattered by the atmosphere. This can lead to an increase in a person’s exposure to the sun.

The sun is closer on some days than others depending on what time of year it is and what latitude you live in.  The UV rays are more intense around the noon time for around a 4 hour time span.   Ground reflection is another concern.  UV rays can reflect off of ground objects as well as water.   This makes UV rays more intense than just regular exposure to them.

Tanning Indoors……


When tanning indoors someone may regulate your tanning time and you know exactly how much UV light you will be receiving based on your skin type.

Indoor tanning can be healthy used in moderate doses. Sunlight, in fact, has many positive effects on the body, and medical science is still making many new discoveries in this area. Ultraviolet light stimulates the production of vitamin D, for example, and doctors often prescribe tanning sessions for people with psoriasis, osteoporosis, and other diseases. In northern climates, regular tanning sessions may help ward off the winter blues, or “cabin fever.” In any environment or season, a dose of controlled ultraviolet light may lift the spirits and help people with mood disorders or depressive tendencies. Occasional tanning sessions can be beneficial even if your goal is not to have a deep, dark tan.

For a deeper, darker, longer lasting tan, you need to use quality indoor tanning lotion. It’s best to apply indoor tanning lotion immediately prior to your session or 1-2 hours prior is even better if you can. Applying it ahead of time allows your skin to absorb the lotion better so you will get the best results from your tanning session.

Why you should always use a good quality indoor tanning lotion:



 It will help your skin to absorb the UV, which will aid in the tanning process.
 There are also special ingredients that stimulate melanin production, such as Tyrosine, which will give you the most out of every tanning session.
 Your skin tends to dry out during the tanning process and if you don’t use a good quality indoor tanning lotion, your skin will exfoliate faster, become more dry and flaky, and you will lose your tan faster.

Summer Time Food Safety

It’s picnic and barbeque season.  Sometimes we get caught up in the fun of summer and forget about the importance of preparing, storing and cooking of food.

St. Francois County Health Center would like for everyone to remember safe food handling techniques to help prevent food borne illnesses when eating outdoors.

If you are having a picnic and are transporting foods always remember to:
  Keep cold food cold.  Put cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.  Cold food should always be kept at or below 40 degrees F.  If possible, limit the time that the cooler is opened.
  Consider packing drinks in one cooler and perishable items in another.
  When items are frozen, meat, poultry and seafood pack together so they stay colder longer. Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped so their juices don’t leak out and contaminate
other food items.
   Rub firm-skin fruits and vegetables with a clean vegetable brush while running under tap water
   Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water even ones with skins or rinds on them.

While transporting hot food use these helpful tips:

If your on a picnic or transporting hot foods electricity is the easiest way to warm up your food. Simply plug in a crock pot, heating pad, bun warmer or hot tray and set to a temperature that will keep the food at 140 degrees.  Just keeping the food warm is not enough, harmful bacteria can begin to multiply between 40 degrees and 140 degrees F.  Check internal temperature of food with a meat thermometer and covering your food with foil and placing it in an insulated container will keep it warm and moist.

If you are cooking foods such as hot dogs or hamburgers, steaks, chicken or ribs at a barbecue or picnic, it’s best to make them in small batches and serve them immediately.

Foods can still be kept hot with the use of thermal containers. A large-mouth thermos works well to keep beans or other liquid or semi-liquid foods hot. Simply preheat the thermos by pouring near-boiling water into it and letting it heat for a few minutes, then pour out the water and pour in the food. If several different dishes are to be kept hot, put them into well-sealed containers in a large ice chest–without the ice–when they are at their hottest, and pack the empty spaces with newspaper or towels or other clean, dry materials. Be sure to put a layer or two of towels on top before closing the ice chest. The food will stay quite hot for at least an hour, using this method, often longer. If the containers in which the food is sealed remain air-and-watertight, and the food was put into it at a very high temperature, no new bacteria can get in.

Perishable food should not be left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours.  If the temperature is over 90 degrees F, discard the food after 1 hour.

Summer Food Service Program

Summer is finally here and kids are out of school.
St. Francois County Health Center would like to take this opportunity to tell you about the Summer Food Service Program.
This program was developed so that children do not go hungry throughout the summer.

The Summer Food Service Program was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure that children have a nutritious lunch available to them throughout the summer while schools are not in session. There are various sites throughout St. Francois County where free lunches are served Monday through Friday to children who are 18 years of age or younger.  

Lunch Service available at these locations:

The Summer Food Service Program concept:
During the school year, nutritious, well balanced meals are available for children through the National School Lunch and National School Breakfast Programs. However, those programs end when school is out for the summer. Children in our community do not need to go hungry this summer. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program helps fill the hunger gap during the summer months. 
This program extends the opportunity to receive nutritious, well balanced meals into the summer to help children stay healthy.  Eating healthy stimulates the brain and makes it easier to learn and be more alert as well as providing your immune system with the nutrients it needs to fight infections and disease.

Children who miss breakfast and lunch are more likely to be sick, absent or tardy for school, disruptive in class, and/or inattentive in class. Children who miss breakfast and lunch are more likely to score lower on achievement tests. Good nutrition is essential for learning in school. TheSummer Food Service Program provides an opportunity to continue a child’s physical and social development while providing nutritious meals while away from school. It helps children return to school ready to learn.
Need More Information? Check us out at these websites …

To find a site near you please check out this link.
Read more about the Summer Food Service Program here.