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2 Health Beat June 2014

Teach children to at an early age W

hat would summer be without days spent frolicking at the lake or afternoons spent splashing in the pool? Fun in the water makes hot days more enjoyable and bearable, and few summertime activities do not involve water play in one aspect or another. Although time spent in the water can be refreshing and entertaining, water does present certain hazards, particularly for those who do not know how to swim. Learning to swim, especially at a

young age, is advisable and a great way to remain safe around the water. The World Health Organization says drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death across the globe, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths. Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning. In general, children under five years of age have the highest drowning mortality rates in the world, though adult males

{Continued to page 13}

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CONTENTS Ann Laurence ............................................ Publisher Bill Robinson ................................................... Editor

2014 JUNE

FEATURE

Joyce Rose............................................. Composing

Power of

Advertising Staff Heather Arvin..............................Media Consultant

play

Matt Finley...................................Media Consultant Tim Merlin....................................Media Consultant Perry Stocker..............................Media Consultant

in the

Nancy Woodward......................Media Consultant

summer

Who to call To advertise in Health Beat, call 623-1669. To suggest topics or submit articles, email ccurry@richmondregister.com or call Carrie Curry at 624-6695.

Read Dan Florell, Ph.D., and Praveena Salins M.D.’s column on Page 8.

Health Beat is a publication of the Richmond Register.

ARTICLES 2 Teach children to swim at an early age

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4 HEALTH & FITNESS: Simple strategies for lasting weight control 6 PROTECTION & SUCCESS: Safety tips for kids 7 MENTAL MORSELS: Context and your cognitive style 10 Pregnancy apps track baby, mom’s progress

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12 Your heart rate and what it means 14 Understand and avoid sun poisoning 15 Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays this summer


4 Health Beat June 2014 DR. JACK RUTHERFORD ON HEALTH & FITNESS

SIMPLE

strategies for lasting weight control

N

ext to not smoking, keeping your weight at a healthy level is one of the most powerful strategies for living a long, healthy and productive life. While genetics are important, for most people it takes work to maintain that healthy weight. Here are 10 strategies for helping Dr. Jack Rutherford you take charge of your weight control efforts. Exercise often Exercise on most, if not all, days of the week. Even if it’s just a walking the dog around the neighborhood, the value of exercise to weight control is essential. Movement forces the body to use its metabolic hormone insulin in a way that promotes fat loss. But regular physical activity does so much more for your health. It burns belly fat (the kind that is harmful to your

cardiovascular health). Exercise also boosts muscle mass and metabolism. And it releases stress. Strive for at least 30 minutes a day, more if you have time. Eat energy food Fill up on the energy food – fiber. Dietary fiber is the body’s secret weapon for weight and appetite control. Fiber fills you up with healthy nutrients without filling you out. Because of their high water content and low caloric count, fruits and vegetables in particular, will provide the bulk that aids in appetite control. Foods with fiber also slow down the release of glucose from the GI tract into the blood stream, resulting in a lower glycemic response. Cut down on the “Great White Hazards.” Avoiding white flour products, white rice, white potatoes


June 2014 Health Beat 5

and other sugary foods are critical to your success. These “high glycemic index” carbs rapidly raise blood sugar levels and insulin, resulting in fat storage and a larger appetite. Don’t drink sugar Cut out sugary beverages. Say goodbye to those calorie-laden drinks – soda, fruit drinks, sweet tea, flavored coffees, etc. Making this change in your diet can be one of the fastest ways to a slimmer waistline. Restrict fructose Found in most sweet foods and beverages, the simple sugar fructose promotes fat storage in the body and doesn’t quell the appetite like other calorie forms. Moreover, fructose-rich foods promote insulin resistance, which can lead to obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and fatty liver disease. Eat protein often Consume Mother Nature’s diet pill – protein. Ample protein provides appetite control and helps protect against the loss of muscle mass that typically occurs during periods of weight loss. Strive to get some protein at every meal, at least 20 grams or so. But don’t fall victim to the “more is better” theory. The body needs a certain amount of daily protein but more than that is just eliminated. Protein powders, bars, and shakes are unnecessary and expensive. Cut out junk food Those highly palatable foods, loaded with fat and/or sugar, taste good but hijack the normal appetite regulatory process. The more you eat them, the more you want them, and the more difficult it is to resist eating them. The worst offenders include sweet foods – ice cream, milkshakes, donuts, cakes, cookies and other pastries, and fast foods like burgers, fries, pizza, etc. For best results, get rid of them or at least cut back to eating them once in a while. Get enough sunlight This one seems a little off the wall, but in a fascinating new study, researchers have found a consistent relationship between exposure to bright, natural light (particularly sunlight) in the early part of the day and a lower body weight. More research is needed on this, but it seems that light exposure has an effect on appetite regulation and metabo-

lism. Another good reason to get outside a couple of times a day and walk in sunshine. Drink water Water is the body’s natural detoxer. Without it, the liver and kidneys do not function to capacity and the cells store fat as a result. Aim for at least eight glasses a day. The color of your urine can be a good barometer of your hydration level. If it looks like lemonade or a lighter color, you’re probably well hydrated. If it’s more like apple juice or darker, it’s time to drink more water. Get enough sleep Optimal amounts of sleep are essential to weight control. Not getting enough sleep will sabotage your efforts to lose weight by increasing appetite, promoting insulin resistance, lowering motivation and self-control and reducing energy to work out. Most people need at least seven hours a night, some need more.

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6 Health Beat June 2014 PROTECTION & SUCCESS

Safety TIPS for kids I

Master Will Schneider

n this column, I’m going to discuss some common safety tips for kids from Tom Patire’s Know & Go program. I was once a master instructor for this course, and I think all kids can benefit from some of the tips in his book, “Personal Protection Handbook.”

First case: Broken glass If your child hears broken glass at home, teach him or her to stop, look around for the broken glass and call for help. Instruct your child to not go near the glass or touch anything until a teen or adult arrives. Second case: Sound of screeching tires People commonly slam on their brakes possibly to avoid an accident or even because of one. You’ll want to teach your child to move away from a road or curve at least 5 feet away from the sound. Of course, teach kids to never play near a street. Third case: Panic stricken crowd Many times crowds can get out of hand or become scared because of a loud sound or even worse. Kids can be trampled or stomped by crowds rushing to get out of a room, arena, stadium, etc. The best thing for kids to do in such a situation is to find a strong permanent object to grab onto. This could be a pillar, bolted down chairs, anything permanent, to hold onto until the crowd calms down or leaves. Parents, if you have your child and are fighting through a

crowd, keep him or her tight to your chest and protect their neck with your other arm. Fourth case: Smoke detector alarm Breathing in smoke is just as dangerous as a fire, possibly worse because it can cause dizziness and difficulty in breathing before the fire actually attacks. Kids should be taught to get down on the ground, crawl to the nearest door or window and then tell parents where they are in the room and what object they are nearest. Lastly 911 safety Parents, you’ll want to teach your kids to dial 911 only when there is a real emergency. When the operator answers, instruct your child to stay as calm as possible and do the following: • Tell their full name • Tell their full address • Tell exactly what help is needed • Leave phone on so the call can be traced. Bonus Parents, it helps to have kids do this drill while stressed or after running around to simulate a real event and the feelings that go with it. Many more columns on Kid Safety and Bully Proofing are coming. Feel free to contact me anytime. Master Will Schneider is the CEO of Elite Martial Arts & Fitness, Martial Arts Global and the Elite Martial Arts Challenge. He is a 1996 World Martial Arts Hall of Fame Inductee and a popular speaker on self-defense, leadership skills and child protection skills. He can be reached at Was8189@gmail.com.

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June 2014 Health Beat 7 MENTAL MORSELS

Context and your cognitive style A

merican psychologist Herman Witkin in 1962 proposed an interesting model for how people think. It’s been subjected to all kinds of research and criticism over the past half century, of course. I find it gives a useful continuum for people that dovetails Thomas W. well with my own professional experiThornberry, M.A. ence. Witkin suggested that some of us think in a context-independent way, and others in a dependent way. What does this mean? Context-independent thinkers (CITs) can figure out problems that have only a limited number of solutions. They’re able to tune out real world “noise” that isn’t relevant to the problem at hand, and focus only on the solutions possible within the situation. These folks are good at math, Sudoku, number puzzles and computer programming. Each of those domains is basically self-contained. All the information you need to figure them out is given to you up front. You just need the ability to shuffle it around or arrange it in your head. No outside experience is necessary. For that reason, context-independent thinkers tend to shine early in life. They’re the “math brains,” the “computer whizzes,” the precocious kids who outperform even many of the adults in their lives as early as grade school. By contrast, context-dependent thinkers (CDTs) tend to come into their abilities a little later in life. That is because, unlike their precocious peers, they must draw on their own life experiences, study how others approach the problem and make conclusions for what has worked in the past. You need to have a past before you can draw on it. Rather than excel at “air tight” problems, with preexisting strategies and limited solutions, CDTs do better with figuring out “open ended” problems, where solutions have to be assembled by building relationships with others, exploring resources and often stitching together combinations of strategies based on best judgement. CDTs are more comfortable with ambiguity, because the

“messy” situations in which they excel simply don’t have clean, ready-made solutions waiting to be uncovered by a discerning intellect. If CITs excel at space, time and numbers, CDTs are better with literature, history or social science. Problems in these areas can’t be separated from the contexts of culture, human nature and past experience. Each type has benefits and drawbacks. CITs, for example, are more likely to jump from one problem to the next. They are passionate and invested in solving problems, often working long hours and neglecting food or sleep to find an answer. Because their abilities mature quickly, however, they tend to use up challenges fast and want to move on to the next challenge immediately. Because they peak quickly, they have fewer chances to learn frustration tolerance. One of the biggest challenges they may face is that of boredom. They struggle with sustaining effort and focus on activities that aren’t always fascinating or that have necessary ‘slog’ elements that have to be endured. This inability so sustain interest means they may accomplish less on longer-term projects than their relevant talents would suggest. CDTs, on the other hand, must contend with the frustrations and setbacks that come of late-maturing capabilities. Have you had the experience, for example, of struggling with school work, and despite your best efforts, you squeak by with a barely sufficient grade, while a classmate or sibling who “never cracked a book” seemed to always get high marks? Enduring and persevering against this constant uphill struggle can be quite discouraging at younger ages. One of the biggest challenges CDTs may face is that of morale or self-esteem. On the other hand, they will ultimately learn the value of patience better than their CIT counterparts, and can take on long-term projects whose drudge elements must be endured before the rewards are apparent. Of course, I always extend a word of caution with these types of useful typologies, as no one fits into them perfectly. People are complex. But as a model, Witkins’ idea may help explain some of the frustrations you’ve experienced based on which type you most favor.


8 Health Beat June 2014 GROWING UP

Power of play in the summer A

Dan Florell, Ph.D., and Praveena Salins, M.D.

fter a long school year, children anxiously await the opportunity to do whatever they want to do in that magical time called summer. Summertime is when life slows down a bit, and there is no homework and fewer scheduled activities. Summer is the perfect

time for play. However, play is often viewed as frivolous and a waste of time. Many well-intentioned parents sign their children up for various camps that can address a range of skill-building activities. These camps and other activities can quickly occupy most of the children’s summer.

While camps can help children develop new interests and areas of expertise, play can also provide a range of benefits. Play allows children to learn how to negotiate with others, solve problems and communicate effectively. Everyone can remember time spent with other children growing up, having arguments regarding the rules to a particular game or who was allowed to rescue the princess. These arguments required negotiating a solution that everyone would find acceptable. Such negotiation skills are critical for children to develop so they will have the skills to get along with others when they get older. Sometimes children can get overwhelmed with the various demands and pressures that are put upon them. Play gives them an outlet to express their thoughts and feelings that does not depend on words.


June 2014 Health Beat 9

This can be so effective that psychologists often use play with children in therapy which allows them to resolve some of their issues. With play, children have an outlet to imagine and be creative. Many of the most lucrative professions in the adult world depend on being creative. Parents can help with encouraging imaginative play by getting toys that do not have artificial boundaries. This means toys that don’t already have a story written about them that might restrict children’s imagination. These toys also don’t have the kind of built-in rules that computer games have. Examples of toys that are more conducive to opening children’s imagination include egg cartons, blocks, boxes, art supplies, paints, chalk and puppets. Parents can help encourage children’s play in a few other ways, particularly during the summer when time is more flexible. The first way to help is to give children the time and opportunity for free play. This may mean cutting back a bit on all of the scheduled activities. It also means providing the material and toys that allow for make-believe play. A second way is to give children room to play. Play is not always quiet, and children should have the opportunity to be loud, laugh and make a mess. The outdoors can be a perfect place for children’s play, particularly in the summer. A third way is to let children play both with and without you. When children play alone, it encourages their independence and the ability to make their own decisions. When parents play with their children, it allows parents to get a deeper insight into their world and also enhances the attachment and connection between the two. If parents do play with their children, remember to allow the children to lead. Play is not the time for parents to lead or instruct, it is about providing support and encouragement. As summertime quickly approaches, make some plans to allow children to have time for unstructured play. It provides a range of benefits, including helping children learn how to negotiate, cope with negative events, and to be creative. Did I also mention that play is just fun? Dan Florell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University and has a private practice, MindPsi (www.mindpsi. net). Praveena Salins, M.D., is a pediatrician at Madison Pediatric Associates (www.madisonpeds.com).


10 Health Beat June 2014

Pregnancy apps track baby, mom’s progress By Bree Fowler, AP Technology Writer NEW YORK (AP) — When I became pregnant with my daughter, now 4, I didn’t even own a smartphone. I did most of my pregnancy research with my desktop computer and those pregnancy books that nearly every first-time mom reads. Now, baby No. 2 is on the way and times have changed. With the rise of smartphones, tablets and wearable devices, there’s no shortage of pregnancy-related high-tech products on the market. I get weekly updates explaining what’s going on with my body and my baby’s development, which show up as notifications from my various iPhone apps. The first time around, I got emails from pregnancy websites. There are also apps to track how much weight you’ve gained, how often your baby kicks and eventually how far apart your contractions are. There are even smartphone-enabled devices that let you listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home. Like a lot of second-time moms, I didn’t feel the need to gorge myself on pregnancy information this time around. But I did download some of the more popular apps. I stuck largely to free apps, though I also tested a $129 fetal heart monitor that attaches to a smartphone. Although the apps don’t cover everything an expectant mom needs to know, they offer enough that I’ve barely dusted off my pregnancy books this time around. BabyBump (free, or $4 for ad-free version with additional features; for Apple and Android devices): Like the other pregnancy apps I tried, you start by entering your due date, weight and other information. The app

creates a chart tracking your progress and showing the number of days left. BabyBump also encourages you to upload a photo of your expanding belly each week to create a time-lapsed series of your growth, but I didn’t bother with that. There are daily tips and a weekly update explaining what’s going on with your body and baby. You can play slideshows of you and your baby’s week-by-week development. These are in the form of drawings showing an expanding belly and what’s inside. You can also join online pregnancy groups and use the app to keep a journal. The free version has advertising on the bottom. The $4 pro version doesn’t. The pro version also has a kick counter and contraction tracker, along with planning tools for shopping, name selection and birth announcements. I didn’t feel the need to pay. WebMD Pregnancy (free, for Apple devices only): I like this app the most. Like the BabyBump app, there’s a pregnancy calendar and weekly illustrations showing development. But WebMD’s pictures are more vibrant and less cartoonish, though a bit more graphic. There are daily tips and suggested questions to ask your doctor at your next appointment. You can keep track of your doctor’s appointments and log your weight and blood pressure. Although I used the app to track how much weight I was gaining, I didn’t bother with the blood pressure and found my Google calendar to be more useful in logging appointments.


ALTH BEAT

Richmond Register 11 June 2014 Health Beat 11

The app includes a kick counter and contraction timer for free, whereas I had to pay for those features with BabyBump. I found this app easier and more fun to use than BabyBump. Bellabeat (free app, but heart monitor costs $129; app for Apple and Android devices): At-home fetal heart listening systems aren’t new. There are a handful of products of varying prices and quality, but many people have complained that they don’t work well and aren’t easy to use, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. You plug the Bellabeat heart monitor into your smartphone’s headphone port, and then plug a set of earbuds into the device. It runs on two AAA batteries. The companion smartphone app detects the baby’s heart rate and lets you record the sound. You can even share the audio clip through Facebook, Twitter or email. Like the devices used by doctors, the Bellabeat uses high-frequency sound waves to pick up the heartbeat. But this isn’t nearly as advanced as the one at my doctor’s office. I had a mixed experience with it.

The first time I tried the Bellabeat, I was 37-weeks pregnant and pretty huge. I managed to pick up my baby’s heartbeat after a few tries. But a few days later, after the baby had moved into a new position, I couldn’t seem to find it at all. I just got a lot of whooshing noises from the device. Eventually, I picked up a faint heartbeat. I wasn’t worried, but I can see why some doctors don’t like these gadgets. They can cause unnecessary distress. You can get the app for free without buying the device, and it gets you a lot of the same tools that WebMD and BabyBump provide. The real question is: Is it worth $129 to hear your baby’s heartbeat whenever you like? If you’re the kind of new mom who frets when you haven’t felt the baby move for a while, the answer might be yes. Personally, I not a big fan of these things. Just like the one at the doctor’s office, they involve smearing that sticky ultrasonic-gel on your belly, which I’ve come to hate. The gel is included with the device.

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12 Health Beat June 2014

Your heart rate and what it means A

t your doctor’s office, the nurse puts her fingers on your pulse after taking your blood pressure. At the gym, you stop the treadmill now and then to check the carotid artery in your neck. Heart rate is an important measure Tamea Evans, MD of your exercise intensity as well as Baptist Health your overall health. Richmond Primary Care Do you know your resting heart rate and what it means? Do you understand about target heart rates during exercise? In terms of health, recovery heart rate may be the most important of all. Heart rate refers to how many times the heart beats every minute – pumping blood to every cell in the body. The pumping is done by the left lower chamber of the heart, which must be healthy enough to sustain the effort, minute after minute, day after day – about 100,000 beats a day, 37 million beats a year. Resting heart rate refers to the number of beats the heart is making when you’re resting. The best time to take your resting heart rate is when you first wake up in the morning, preferably before you get out of bed. Count the beats for a full 60 seconds. The number you get will be a bit higher once you stand up, but that’s okay. The most important thing is that you take your pulse the same way every day. It makes sense that a healthy heart is capable of accomplishing its task more efficiently. And studies have found that persons with lower heart rates are not only fitter but tend to live longer. The ideal resting heart rate for an adult is from 60 to 100. Generally, it’s best to be at the lower end of the range. If you’re just starting an aerobic exercise program, it’s a good idea to take your resting heart rate every morning and

track the trend. You can expect a steady drop over the first six to eight weeks. That means that you are getting fitter, with a more efficient and healthy cardiovascular system. If your resting heart rate suddenly goes up 10 or 15 beats some morning without explanation, it may be a sign that you are training too hard and would benefit from a rest. When you’re working out, you may notice your heart beating faster; that’s normal. The goal of aerobic exercise is to raise your heart rate and keep it there for an extended period. For maximum benefit, most trainers recommend a target heart rate of 65 to 85 percent of maximum heart rate. As a rule of thumb, maximum heart rate can be determined by subtracting your age from 220 if you are a male or 226 if you are a female. In other words, a 40-year-old female has a maximum heart rate of 186 and should work out at an intensity between 121 (65 percent) and 158 (85 percent) beats per minute. A heart rate of 50 percent of maximum (93 beats) will give a lower intensity, though still beneficial, workout. Most persons who exercise regularly can usually tell by perceived effort alone whether they are working out at low, moderate or high intensity. The higher the intensity, the more labored the breathing. If you use the carotid artery to determine your heart rate during exercise, take it for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6. Another good method is to use a heart rate monitor to guide your exercise. In terms of cardiovascular health, one very important factor is how quickly your heart recovers after a strenuous workout. This is known as recovery heart rate. Complete recovery back to your resting heart rate may take several hours after even a moderate workout. But what you’re looking for is how much your heart beat slows during the first minute or two of rest.


June 2014 Health Beat 13

The quicker your heart rate comes down, the better. If your heart rate comes down 22 to 52 beats during the first two minutes, your biological age is about the same as your calendar age. If it’s less than that, you may have health problems. One study found that a reduction of the heart rate of less than 12 beats during the first minute after exercise was a “powerful and independent predictor of the risk of death.” Smoking, drinking a lot of caffeine, anemia and thyroid disorders can elevate heart rate. A resting heart rate that is consistently high – even at the high end of normal – is reason to see your doctor. If you notice a flutter, a flip flop or a missed beat or two while you’re taking your pulse, it’s probably nothing to worry

about. Nearly everyone has an irregular beat from time to time. An irregular rhythm, though, is more serious. A substantial number of veteran endurance athletes develop atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia. Particularly during the early stages, atrial fibrillation (afib) strikes intermittently. You may have only occasional episodes when workouts become very difficult. Until you see a doctor, it’s probably a good idea to limit the intensity of your workouts. Ultimately, no matter how healthy or fit you are, the beat is your clue to how efficiently your heart is doing its job.

Teach children to swim at an early age {Continued from page 2} in Canada and New Zealand drown at higher rates than children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should consider swimming lessons for most children between the ages of 1 and 4. New research has revealed that swimming instruction for children in that age range may decrease drowning risk. However, parents should be advised that swimming lessons do not remove all risk. Children still need constant supervision when in and around water. Additionally, learning CPR can be a life-saving measure. When enrolling children in swim lessons, parents should look for safety-certified instructors who have first-aid and resuscitation training and certification. Many programs offered are sponsored by the American Red Cross or the YMCA. Private swim clubs may have their own instructors. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 typically do not have the motor coordination to swim effectively. These children can benefit from swim lessons that emphasize getting used to the water, safety and learning some swimming readiness skills. Instruction may involve teaching children how to move their legs and arms and strengthen muscles used for swimming. Children between the ages of 4 and 5 may be more developmentally ready for swimming. Such youngsters may move from water-safety lessons to actual swimming with or

without support. A study titled “Children’s readiness for learning front crawl swimming” published in The Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport showed that whether kids “started lessons at two, three or four years of age,” they learned to swim well at “approximately the same mean age of five and a half years.” In addition to swimming lessons, parents and other adults can ensure water safety by taking the following precautionary measures: • Children should never be left unattended in the water. It takes mere inches of water for a youngster to drown. • In the pool or another body of water, caregivers should be within touching distance of young swimmers to provide help if needed, even if the child is wearing a floatation device. • Keep rescue equipment by the pool. • Remove toys from the pool when it’s not in use. These toys can attract children who will go in after them. • A fence around the perimeter of the yard may be mandatory, but a fence around the pool itself is another safety barrier to consider. The fence should feature a self-latching gate. • Even adults should be watched while swimming. It is always a safe idea to swim with a buddy, so that the other person can get help if something goes wrong.


14 Health Beat June 2014

Understand and avoid sun poisoning A

trip to the lake or an afternoon by the pool is an enjoyable way to relax in the summer. With warm water at your feet and a good book to enjoy, the hours spent relaxing tend to pass quickly. While such days are often comfortable and relaxing, if you aren’t careful, you may be putting yourself at risk of sunburn or even sun poisoning. Sunburns are never a good thing, but sun poisoning can be even more severe and the symptoms can become quite serious and uncomfortable. Despite what the common term “sun poisoning” implies, the sun does not poison the body. Rather, the term describes sensitivity to sunlight that results in a wide range of symptoms that can affect the skin and body as a whole. Sun poisoning can occur when one has a sun allergy, called solar urticaria. However, this is very rare. The greatest number of sun poisoning cases are simply a severe form of sunburn. Depending on the pigmentation of a person’s skin and the severity of the sun, sunburn can occur in mere minutes. Many people can get a sunburn within 15 minutes of being in the sun. The sun’s rays are most potent between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., making the majority of the day a prime time for skin damage. Although sunburn can occur quite quickly, many people do not realize anything has occurred right away. That’s because sunburn symptoms can be delayed. It may take a few hours for redness to appear and discomfort to set in. Staying in the sun too long without wearing adequate protection, whether it be a wide-brimmed hat, protective clothing or ample amounts of sunblock, can lead to sunburn. Over time, sunburn can progress to sun poisoning. Symptoms of sun poisoning include a severe sunburn accompanied by blisters on the skin. Pain and tingling may

occur, as well as swelling where the sun touched the body intensely. Sun poisoning also may cause fever and chills, nausea, dizziness, and dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, as the body’s immune system attempts to kick into action. The best treatment for sun poisoning is prevention. Avoid blazing sun whenever possible, and use sunblock and reapply frequently if you must be out in the sun for any duration of time. Otherwise, some cases of sun poisoning can be relieved with the application of cool compresses or by taking cool (not cold) baths. Application of aloe gels also can alleviate discomfort, in addition to taking a pain relieving NSAID pill. If at any point a fever occurs and spikes to more than 104 F, or if there is extreme pain and vomiting, head to the emergency room. Doctors may have to quickly reduce swelling and inflammation and administer fluids intravenously to get the body back on track. Keep in mind that blisters from sun poisoning can become infected, so it is advisable to keep the skin clean and avoid picking at or popping blisters. Discuss any concerns about severe sunburn with a doctor. Frequent sunburns can be linked to accelerated skin aging and can put a person at a higher risk for skin cancer. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from the sun is the number one cause of skin cancer, but UV light from tanning beds is just as harmful. Cumulative sun exposure causes basal-cell and squamous-cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe blistering sunburns, usually before age 18, can cause melanoma later in life. Sun poisoning and sunburns are nothing to take lightly. These conditions are easy to prevent by being smart about sun exposure


June 2014 Health Beat 15

Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays

this summer M

ost Americans understand the importance of protecting their skin from the sun, but they seldom make an effort to protect their eyes. Many are unaware that exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation can harm the eyes and affect vision as well. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), even on an overcast day, harmful UV rays can cause sunburn of both the skin and the cornea of the eye. Over time, unprotected exposure to the sun can increase the possible risk of certain types of cataracts and potentially damage the retina, which could lead to total blindness. Americans should also know that UV damage is cumulative, so it’s never too late to begin protecting the eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. These five tips from the American Optometric Association can help prevent further eye damage from exposure to UV radiation: • Wear protective eyewear any time your eyes are exposed to UV light, even on cloudy days and during winter months. • Look for quality sunglasses that offer good protection. Sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UB-B radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. • Check to make sure your sunglass lenses are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection. • Purchase gray-colored lenses. They reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects, providing the most natural color vision. • Don’t forget protection for children and teenagers. They typically spend more time in the sun than adults. Additionally, be sure to receive routine comprehensive eye exams. It’s a good way to monitor eye health, maintain good vision, and keep up to date on the latest in UV radiation protection.

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HI, I’M JOE TAYLOR. Overton, Texas. What keeps me coming back to the Trail? It’s just absolutely sensational. I have people tell me what they’ve spent playing one round at Pebble Beach and a night at the hotel, or going to Pinehurst for a couple rounds. We do the entire week, travel, hotel, green fees, good meals and everything for the price of one day at these places. And it’s absolutely a sensational place to come. TO PLAN YOUR VISIT to Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, visit rtjresorts.com or call 1.800.949.4444 today. facebook.com/rtjgolf twitter.com/rtjgolf

Health Beat, June 2014  
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