Healthy Living July 2019

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Healthy

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TIPS TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT

A supplement to The News Sun, The Herald Republican and The Star

July 2019


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Healthy Living

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Healthy Living

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Don’t get burned: Stay protected from the sun BY MEGAN KNOWLES

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Summer is all about fun in the sun, but too much sun without the right protection can result in getting burned. Some of the best ways to prevent sunburn is to cover up and wear sunscreen, Dr. Chelsey Caldwell, pediatrician at Parkview Physicians Group Pediatrics in Columbia City, said. “Even before the sunscreen you should try to cover as much of your skin as possible,” she said, encouraging people to wear cooler fabrics and especially to cover their heads. “A lot of people don’t think about their scalp burning but the sun can definitely burn your scalp under your hair too and your neck, so the hat, one, it protects your scalp but it can (also) protect your face and for kids we recommend it has a brim around it so it can cover the back of the neck as well,” Caldwell said. This is especially important the younger a child is. In fact, covering up is the best form of protection for babies younger than 6 months old. “Babies less than 6 months (old) have a more immature skin barrier” that can be irritated by sunscreen, she said. While it’s best to keep them covered up and in the shade, “if you have to have them in direct sunlight only use SPF 15 in very small amounts if you need to.” For older children and adults, SPF 15 provides protection against 93% of UV radiation, Caldwell said. “Which sounds like a lot, but when you compare it to SPF 30, SPF 30 is actually twice as protective as SPF 15,” she said. SPF 30 sunscreen provides protection against 97% of UV rays, while SPF 50 provides protection against 98%. All sunscreens protect against UVB radiation, which causes sunburns and can lead to skin cancer, Caldwell said. Some

also offer UVA protection, which guards against the sun’s damage that causes aging. Besides SPF, Caldwell also said to look for sunscreens that don’t have fragrances for those with sensitive skin. Sunscreen should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outside so it has time to absorb, Caldwell said. It should be reapplied at minimum every two hours. “If you’re in water, which a lot of people are in the summertime in pools or lakes, or you’re really active and you’re sweating a lot, then you need to apply it more often, at least every 80 minutes,” she added. Sunburns usually appear three to five hours after too much sun exposure, she said. First-degree burns usually hit their worst point in 12 to 24 hours and will heal on their own in three to seven days. The blisters and peeling from second-degree sunburns, on the other hand, may not appear until the 12-hour mark, Caldwell said. Sunburn pain can be eased with a cool but not frozen compress and aloe vera, which not only cools but helps heal the skin, Caldwell said. She also debunked a few myths, saying it is possible to get burnt on an overcast day and that a person can get a sunburn even if they’ve already had one for the year or have one currently. “So if you have a sunburn it’s important to try to avoid more sun exposure until that sunburn heals, and you can definitely still sunburn even if you’ve had one sunburn at the beginning of the summer, so that’s why it’s so important to use the sunscreen all summer long,” she said. “Even without a sunburn you’re causing damage to your skin, so you’re still damaging those skin cells and causing increased risk of cancer in the long term.”

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Healthy Living

July 27, 2019

Swim safely this summer

BY MEGAN KNOWLES

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While a backyard or community pool can be a great place to cool off on a hot summer day, it can also be more dangerous than many people realize. “Water is super, super fun, and it’s always a good time, but it’s also extremely dangerous and I think the American public doesn’t treat it as unsafe as it actually is,” Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Aquatic Safety Coordinator Sarah Amick said. Amick’s job includes training lifeguards at Fort Wayne pools, and some of the information she gives her staff can benefit the general public as well.

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floatation devices, rather than items like pool noodles.

Securing a home pool

To reduce the risk of at-home pool accidents, the American Red Cross offers several tips for securing a home pool: • Completely surround a pool with four-sided isolation fencing that has a Swimming at home self-closing and self-latching gate that is out Even at home, someone should be designated to keep their eyes on the pool, and of children’s reach • For above-ground pools, secure, lock or not on other tasks like grilling or being on remove steps, ladders and anything that can their phones, Amick said. be used for access whenever the pool is not She also advised people to never being actively supervised by an adult swim alone and to keep children who are • Install secondary barriers such as door non-swimmers within arm’s reach. alarms and locks on all doors and windows Having equipment available, even just a long-handled pool net, to aid someone who is with direct access to the pool area and lockable covers struggling can be helpful, she said. It is also important to realize what is Swimming at a public pool are good and poor floatation devices for When going to a public pool, Amick young or unsure swimmers. She advised advised that kids who want to try out the using Coast Guard-approved life jackets and

diving board get a quick swim test from a lifeguard first. “That just makes the lifeguard aware that, hey we’re a little unsure of the swimmer so (he or she) keeps an eye on them a little bit more,” she said. While anyone who’s been to a pool has heard “no running,” there are a variety of reasons this is enforced, Amick added. “We tell kids not to run because we don’t want them to fall into water that’s too deep and not be ready for it,” she said. That goes for bumping or pushing someone into a pool as well. “We don’t know anyone else’s swimming abilities,” Amick added. She also advised that people go into a pool feet first, unless at a diving board area, and tell children to do the same.

Drowning

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Healthy Living

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Dealing with common summer symptoms BY GREEN SHOOT MEDIA We’re outdoors more, enjoying nature and the sun and waterways and eating picnic food that may or may not have been cooked or stored properly. While it can be a lot of fun, it can also lead to various illness and conditions that can sideline your or your family for a weekend. Take steps to keep yourself healthy this summer.

Bug bites

More people outside means more infections from insect bites, which the CDC reported has increased at surprising rates in recent years. In 2016, almost 100,000 disease cases came from infected mosquitoes, ticks and fleas — triple the rates of a decade ago. Some of that could be attributed to new illnesses or diseases that have traveled from other countries. To avoid infection while still enjoying

the outdoors, always use insect repellent; wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors; treat boots, pants, socks and tents with permethrin; appropriately treat and frequently check pets for fleas and ticks; and take steps to keep your yard and surrounding areas free from pests.

Food poisoning

It’s the season of picnics, barbecues and potlucks — lots of opportunities to make or eat food in less than ideal conditions, which can lead to foodborne illnesses. One of the biggest culprits is mayonnaise-based foods like potato salad that spent too long out of the fridge and spoiled. Make sure to keep foods at the proper temperatures and keep raw meat away from vegetables and fruit salads. Cook foods to the right temperatures and don’t let anything sit out too long. Wash your hands and cooking surfaces often. METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION

Always use insect repellent to avoid bug bites and the risk of infection.

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Fruits provide relief from summer sun BY MEGAN KNOWLES

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Though frozen treats can be tempting on a hot summer day, they’re not always the most healthful. Fortunately, the local farmers market can be ripe with offerings, that, with a little planning, can be turned into delicious treats at home. “You can freeze some of the fruits, like grapes and blueberries are still pretty easy to eat when they’re frozen,” DeKalb Health Clinical Dietician Laura Kerwin said. She recommended grapes, blueberries, melons and possibly raspberries as fruits that can be frozen and eaten right out of the freezer. While strawberries and blackberries tend to be too hard to eat directly, they can still be used for a refreshment, Kerwin said. “Sometimes people use those frozen fruits, like strawberries, they sometimes put them in their water to

flavor the water and that kind of helps the fruit defrost a little bit too,” she said. Herbs, especially mint, can be added as well for another flavor twist.

For a heartier snack or side dish, Kerwin said she will sometimes make a caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese, or a fruit salad “with

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watermelon, berries, mint and lime juice, and it kind of tastes like a mint mojito without the alcohol.” Homemade popsicles are also a healthier alternative, with many recipes available online. For those craving the taste or convenience of a store-bought product, Kerwin advised keeping an eye on sugar content. She encouraged people to try to keep their treats to 10-15 grams of sugar or less per serving. “Some of your ice cream bars and popsicles, they could have 30 or 40 grams of sugar for just one popsicle,” Kerwin said. Monitoring serving size is important as well, she said, adding a serving of ice cream is half a cup. “Most people don’t measure out ice cream portions so before you know it you’ve eaten half a gallon of ice cream in two days,” she said. “Portion control is definitely key when you’re trying to limit ice cream and other things too.”

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Keeping your cool when it’s hot outside BY MEGAN KNOWLES

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If you can’t take the heat, get out of the sun and cool yourself down. That’s the advice cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation exercise physiologists gave about exercising and doing work when temperatures are high. “When you exercise in hot weather it puts stress on your body. To help cool itself the body sends more blood to circulate through your skin and this leaves less blood for your muscles, which causes your heart rate to be higher,” Nora Budreau with DeKalb Health said. Humidity can add to this problem, Shea Pyle with Parkview LaGrange said. “The biggest way that your body cools off is by sweating and when your sweat evaporates it helps cool the skin,

but when the air is already so humid, it doesn’t quite work like that, so people tend to overheat more in the humidity then they do when it’s not so humid,” he said. If the temperature is above 80 degrees with 80 percent humidity, Budreau said she doesn’t advice outdoor exercise “because of the added stress.” However, overheating can happen even at lower temperatures, and both Budreau and Pyle recommended trying to avoid exercise or strenuous outdoor work between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., the hottest part of the day. Symptoms of overheating include weakness and fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, being nauseous and sweating more than normal, Pyle said. If a person starts to experience these symptoms, he or she should get into the shade or indoors to air conditioning

if possible, drink water or electrolyte drinks, and put a cool cloth on their forehead, the back of their neck or in their armpits. “Give yourself ample time to recover, but usually if you drink fluids and cool yourself down you should start to feel fine,” Budreau said. Ignoring these signs can be unsafe. “So when you kind of go into the extreme overheating that’s when your heartbeat will start to slow down and you’ll actually stop sweating and that’s when it starts to become dangerous,” Pyle said. This is caused by dehydration and one’s internal temperature becoming too high. “That’s when you need to call 911. … Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency,” Budreau said. To help prevent heat stroke and

heat exhaustion, both Budreau and Pyle recommend drinking plenty of water both before and during exercise or strenuous activity. They also recommended wearing light, loose-fitting clothing to help keep cool. Sunglasses and a hat can help as well. “Listen to your body, that’s the important thing,” Budreau said. “You can usually tell when you’re getting too hot and its time to take a break.” If people want to continue exercising outdoors, Budreau advised changing exercises to those that are more cooling, like swimming or hiking on a shaded trail. “(Also,) if you haven’t been exercising regularly and you want to start an exercise program, we always encourage people to check with their doctor first,” she added.


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