Sun Safety 101
Temperatures are on the rise overall and while we are focused on enjoying the good weather, it’s easy to forget to keep up with the heat. The good news is that being aware of the symptoms and knowing how to prevent them is simple and means you will be able to enjoy yourself all season.
Know when you are in hot water.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion can vary depending on your activity level. Cramps, heavy sweating, and feeling very tired and thirsty are all signs that your body is stressed from heat.1
Other signs of heat exhaustion can include:
- Dizziness or feeling weak or confused
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fast heartbeat
- Cool, moist skin
- Dark-colored urine, a sign of dehydration 1,2
It is important to address these symptoms as soon as possible to avoid heatstroke. Furthermore, you should call 9-1-1 immediately if you think someone is showing signs of shock, seems confused, has a seizure, has a fever over 102°F, is breathing rapidly, has a rapid pulse or loses consciousness.1,3
Beat the heat.
Once you realize you have symptoms of heat exhaustion it’s important to get out of the heat as soon as possible. Find a cool spot to put your feet up and rest! Be sure to stay hydrated and stay clear of alcohol and caffeine. Taking a cool shower or bath and applying cool compresses will also help lower your body temperature. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not subside after 30 minutes.3
Don't sweat it out.
When it comes to heat safety, staying ahead of it is key. Keep an eye on the weather, and when temperatures are high, keep these steps in mind:
- Take it easy and avoid intense activities.
- Stay inside during peak sun time. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.4
- Cool down at the library or mall if you don’t have AC at home.
- Dress appropriately, and wear lightweight, breathable clothes in light colors.
- Block the sun with a hat or umbrella.
- Cool your car down by running the AC before you get in.
- Hydrate with water and stay nourished with small meals throughout the day.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Do not take salt tablets unless instructed to do so by your healthcare professional.1,2,3
Some people are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke: children, older adults, and people who are obese, ill, exercising vigorously, or not used to the heat or high humidity.1 Keeping a close eye on those who are most affected by the heat and making sure they are taking proper precautions could help prevent a serious situation.
Similarly, certain allergy, blood pressure, seizure drugs and medicines for mental health conditions may also make a person be at a higher risk for heatstroke. Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of the medications you or your loved ones take may put them at risk.
Health Mart, caring for you and about you.
1.MedlinePlus: Heat emergencies. Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000056.htm. Accessed 5-23-16.
2.Familydoctor.org: Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/heat-exhaustion-an-heatstroke.printerview.all.html. Accessed 5-23-16.
3.Healthy Roads Media: Heat Waves. Available at: https://healthreach.nlm.nih.gov/documents/EngHeatWaves.pdf. Accessed 5-23-16.
4.FDA: Sun Protection. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/Tanning/ucm116445.htm. Accessed 5-23-16.
How to Stay Flu-Free All Season Long
The flu (influenza) season is soon upon us. Are you and your family ready? Here are a few simple tips to help you stay healthy and keep others from falling ill as well. If you have questions about the flu or need to get your shot this season, speak with a Health Mart pharmacist near you.
Flu facts: Who knew?
Chances are that you’ve had the flu, but now it’s time to test your knowledge about this pesky flu bug that shows up every year.
Most flu activity occurs during January.
False. According to the Center for Disease Control records over 32 years, the peak month of flu activity is February, followed by December and then January and March. The “seasonal flu season” can start in October and can last as long as May.1
The flu shot only protects against one type of flu.
False. Traditional flu vaccines or shots are made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available, and flu vaccines are available that are made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). Depending on your age, your healthcare professional will help you determine which vaccine is best to help you.2
The flu vaccine takes a few weeks before it works.
True. It takes your body about two weeks after the flu shot to develop antibodies that protect against the virus from infecting you. Therefore, it’s really important to have your flu shot before the flu season starts. 3
Visit your Health Mart store for more information.
Flu Season: Who’s at risk?
The flu can be a relatively minor occurrence, taking several days in most healthy people. Others however may develop complications from the flu (e.g. pneumonia) that can be life threatening.5 That’s why it is important to practice good hygiene to help prevent the spread of germs to those at greater risk.4
Children and infants
People with disabilities
People with health conditions
Travelers and people living abroad
3 Tips to Outsmart the Flu
Get your flu vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as the current season’s vaccines are available.
Help stop the spread of germs
It’s simple. Wash your hands with soap and water. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. And, avoid close contact with sick people.
Follow your doctor’s orders
If you get sick and your doctor prescribes flu antiviral drugs, take them and be sure to follow the full course of medication.
Are YOU a travel bug?
You need to travel and you don’t feel well. Should you get on that plane? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says no.6
To help cut down on the spread of germs, you should be fever free for 24-hours before traveling
If you are not ill, the CDC recommends a flu shot to help reduce the risk of contracting an illness while you are traveling to your destination
Because flu seasons vary, it’s important to stay current on your flu vaccination
1. The Flu Season. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season.htm. Accessed August 31, 2015.
2. Key Facts About Season Flu Vaccine. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/flu/understandingflu/pages/seasonalvaccine.aspx. Accessed August 31, 2015.
3. Key Facts About Season Flu Vaccine. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Accessed August 31, 2015.
4. Flu.gov. Who’s at risk? http://www.flu.gov/at-risk. Accessed August 31, 2015.
5. Flu Symptoms and Severity. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/symptoms.htm. Accessed August 31, 2015.
6. Influenza Prevention: Information for Travelers. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/travelers/travelersfacts.htm. Accessed October 1, 2015.