Weekly Wellness: Summer health hazards

1 year 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, July 24 2018 Jul 24, 2018 Tuesday, July 24, 2018 1:23:00 PM CDT July 24, 2018 in Weekly Wellness
By: Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach
loading

COLUMBIA - According to WebMD, there are seven “Top Summer Health Hazards” and they are: mower injuries, boating accidents, dehydration, sunburns, picnic-specific food poisoning, fireworks safety and insect bites and stings.

Mower Injuries: In 2010, 253,000 people were treated for lawn mower-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Children under age 19 account for nearly 17,000 of these injuries.

Safety tips:

  • Wear closed-toed shoes -- preferably with a steel toe -- when you mow, along with goggles or sunglasses, gloves, and long pants that will protect you from flying debris.
  • Keep kids away from the push mower and off the riding mower.
  • Get a professional to service your mower or learn how to do it properly. Important: Disconnect the spark plug to prevent it from accidentally starting.

Boating Accidents: The U.S. Coast Guard releases a report every year regarding recreational boating. This report states alcohol use was the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of deaths. Operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed and machinery failure ranked as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

Where the cause of death was known, 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those drowning victims, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. Where boating instruction was known, 20 percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction.

Top take-aways about boating accidents:

  • Don't drink and boat
  • Wear life jackets
  • Learn basic lifesaving skills

Dehydration Disasters: People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it's much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That's when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, experience hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

Preventing dehydration and heatstroke couldn't be easier:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • Take regular breaks in the shade
  • Try to schedule your most vigorous outdoor activities for times when the heat isn't so strong, such as early morning or late afternoon

For persons suffering more serious dehydration or heatstroke, follow these instructions:

  • Get the person indoors
  • Have person lie down
  • Cool person using ice packs and cool cloths

If the person is not showing signs of improvement after these basic steps, they may need to be transported to the ER for further treatment and IV fluids.

Sunburns: Did you know that your risk for melanoma doubles if you've had just five sunburns in your life?

To avoid a sunburn:

  • Wearing sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats
  • Avoid mid-day sun exposure

If you do get a sunburn:

  • Drink water or juice to replace lost fluids
  • Soak the burn in cool water for a few minutes or apply a cool, wet cloth
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever (i.e. acetaminophen)
  • Treat itching with an OTC antihistamine cream or a spray like diphenhydramine (i.e. Benadryl)
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment or an aloe cream with emollients that soften and soothe

Picnic Poisoning: Food poisoning puts about 300,000 people in the hospital every year, hitting its peak in the summer months.

To prevent food poisoning, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture's advice to:

  • Clean -- Wash your hands as well as the surfaces where you'll be preparing foods.
  • Separate -- Wrap raw meat securely and keep it stored away from other food items.
  • Cook -- Bring along a meat thermometer. Grilling meat browns it very fast on the outside, but that doesn't mean it's safe on the inside. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees.
  • Chill -- Keep everything refrigerated as long as possible. Store perishable picnic items in an insulated cooler packed with ice, and follow the "last in, first out" rule -- whatever you're going to eat first should go at the top of the cooler.

If you have a mild case of food poisoning, follow these steps:

  • Avoid solid foods
  • Stick with small, frequent drinks of clear liquid to stay hydrated.
  • Once the nausea and vomiting have eased, you can try bringing food back into your diet -- slowly and in small, bland portions

If symptoms persist for more than a couple days (or more than 24 hours in small kids), see a doctor.

Fireworks Safety: Nearly 9,000 individuals were injured by fireworks in 2009, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, and two were killed. The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professionally sponsored display.

Take these precautions:

  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out small fires
  • Keep children away from fireworks, including sparklers. (A sparkler can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees -- hot enough to melt some types of metals.)

To care for a fireworks burn, wrap it in a clean towel or T-shirt saturated with cool water and get to an emergency room to have the injury checked out.

Insect-related injuries: Three in 100 adults in the United States have life-threatening allergies to insect stings, according to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

To stay free of winged insects when outdoors, avoid heavy perfumes and scents (especially florals), wear light-colored clothing with no floral patterns (stinging insects are attracted to dark colors and flowers), and guard food and sugary drinks like sodas.

Most people who get stung will just have pain, tenderness, itchiness, and swelling at the sting site. To treat a milder reaction, take acetaminophen for the pain and an antihistamine for hives and swelling. (This works for mild reactions to mosquito bites as well.)

But see a doctor or go to the ER immediately when you have:

  • Hives, itchiness, and swelling over large areas of your body
  • Tightness in the chest or trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue or face
  • Dizziness or feeling you will pass out

Keep these tips in mind and have a great summer!

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY —Gov. Mike Parson will sign an omnibus bill that increases prison sentences and eliminates probation for certain violent... More >>
27 minutes ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police have arrested a 16 year old boy in connection to a shooting that resulted in a... More >>
32 minutes ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:09:36 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — A University of Maryland administrator and head of fundraising will be MU's next vice chancellor for advancement,... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 5:25:36 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —The Columbia/Boone County Health Department trained 15 city employees in contact tracing Monday. But the county is still at... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:50:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY- Patrick Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. This new contract will keep... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:11:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
BELLE —Police charged two suspects with assault Monday after a man was found with serious injuries. Police arrested 21... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 3:03:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:34:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Emotions over mask-wearing mandates are high. KOMU spoke to MU Health Care infectious disease doctor, Dr. Christelle Ilboudo,... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri basketball star Laurence Bowers kicked off his sixth annual basketball camp on Monday with the largest... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:59:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA— Brian Weimer, major of operations with the MU Police Department, has been named interim chief of MUPD, according to... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:52:14 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released its 2020 4th of July incident numbers in a news release Monday.... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:02:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 11:02:00 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 10:49:19 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- The Columbia City Council is set to vote on a face mask order at their meeting Monday. The... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:21:00 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Several community members talked about the need to hold each other along with leaders accountable following a double... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, July 05 2020 Jul 5, 2020 Sunday, July 05, 2020 7:31:00 PM CDT July 05, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 05 2020 Jul 5, 2020 Sunday, July 05, 2020 6:09:26 PM CDT July 05, 2020 in News
MARIES COUNTY - The Maries County Sheriff's Office recovered human remains near the Gasconade River on Sunday, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 05 2020 Jul 5, 2020 Sunday, July 05, 2020 5:26:00 PM CDT July 05, 2020 in News
MOBERLY - Movie lovers have something to be excited about: some theaters are starting to reopen. The B&B Moberly... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 05 2020 Jul 5, 2020 Sunday, July 05, 2020 4:34:00 PM CDT July 05, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 89°
7pm 91°
8pm 88°
9pm 82°
10pm 80°