Independence Day - July 4th - is a fun holiday with fireworks, patriotism, barbecues and so much more. But with fun, often comes danger! Did you know Independence day is the holiday with the most fires? Fireworks (often coming into contact with decorations) are often a large culprit when looking at the causes of fires over the Independence Day holiday. Fire is just one of the many precautions you and our family can take for firework and decoration safety over the holiday. Read the following tips to keep you and your family safe from fireworks this July 4th. Tip #1 Have a fire extinguisher readily available. This way if there was an accidental fire, the fire can be put out quickly. Tip #2 If you have fireworks, have water buckets and a hose available. This is also important in the case that a fire becomes larger than a small extinguisher can take care of. Tip #3 Alcohol is a favorite of many for the holiday celebrations. However, it is important to keep alcohol away from children and animals and especially out of the hands with those that have fireworks. Alcohol causes judgement impairment and could lead to not only a fire, but other accidents including alcohol poisoning impaired driving, and much more. Be smart and limit your alcohol consumption during the 4th of July. Tip #4 When you are disposing of 4th of July decorations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire. This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over. Tip #5 Make sure that the area you are lighting fireworks off is also free of bushes, dry grass, trees, streamers, balloons, flammable helium, and other fire hazardous materials. Tip #6 Safety includes removing small pieces of balloons, fireworks, and other items that are able to choke small children. Tip #7 Stay away from illegal fireworks. They are illegal due to the increased danger involved with certain types of fireworks. Here is a list of the fireworks to avoid.
- Large re-loadable mortar shells
- Cherry bombs
- M-80 salutes
- Large firecrackers
Prostate Cancer With June being Men’s health awareness month, we’d like to discuss prostate cancer in this blog post. Prostate cancer has become one of the most common cancers found in men and it’s an important point of discussion and something everyone should be aware of. Here are a few things to know about the prostate and prostate cancer:
- The prostate is a gland found only in men. It is about the size of a walnut and sits below the bladder.
- Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men. One in seven men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime.
- Compared to other men, African-American men and men with a family history of the disease are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. A man with a father or brother who had prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease.
- The BRCA 1/2 mutation is also believed to increase prostate cancer risk.
- Age: Aggressive prostate cancer is virtually nonexistent in men under 40. With age, however, the chance of developing prostate cancer increases. Nearly two-thirds of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over 65, and nearly one-half of prostate cancer deaths occur in men initially diagnosed after 75.
- Race: Prostate cancer is about twice as common among African-American men as it is among white American men.
- Diet: Epidemiological data suggest that the diet consumed in industrialized Western countries may be a factor in developing prostate cancer. Consider the following information regarding diet and its effect on the risk for prostate cancer:
- Fat: Some studies suggest that men who eat a high-fat diet, especially if it is high in red meat or high-fat dairy products, may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Fruits and vegetables: Diets high in fruits and vegetables may lower prostate cancer risk, although it is not clear which nutrient(s) may be responsible for this.
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids, such as lycopenes, have been shown to inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells grown in the laboratory. The primary source of lycopenes is processed tomatoes. Again, however, it is not clear if lycopenes affect prostate cancer risk in men, as not all studies have found a benefit.
As we get outside more and the summer temperatures start rising, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of Heat Stroke. What is Heatstroke? Let’s first start by telling you what heatstroke is. Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher. Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death. What are the symptoms of heatstroke? Heatstroke symptoms include:
- High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
- Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
- Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.
- Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
- Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- Headache. Your head may throb.
- Get the person into shade or indoors.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Cool the person with whatever means available — put in a cool tub of water or a cool shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on the person's head, neck, armpits and groin.
You may have met people with back pain who tell you they have a herniated disc. But do you know what a herniated disc really is? Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft discs filled with a jelly-like substance. These discs cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. As you age, the discs break down or degenerate. As they do, they lose their cushioning ability. This can lead to pain if the back is stressed. A herniated disk is a disc that ruptures. This allows the jelly-like center of the disc to leak, irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause sciatica or back pain. Your doctor will diagnose a herniated disc with a physical exam and, sometimes, imaging tests. With treatment, most people recover. Treatments include rest, pain and anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. Herniated Disc Symptoms When part of a disc presses on a nerve, it can cause pain in the back and the legs. The location of the pain depends on which disc is weak. How bad the pain is depends on how much of the disc is pressing on the nerve. In most people with herniated discs, the pain spreads over the buttocks and goes down the back of one thigh and into the calf. This is known as sciatica because the pain travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. Some people have pain in both legs. In some people, the legs or feet feel numb or tingly. The pain from a herniated disc is usually worse when you’re active and gets better when you’re resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving and bending forward may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse because these movements put more pressure on the nerve. People who have painful herniated discs often try to change positions to reduce the pain. You may have found that holding yourself up with your hands while you are sitting helps the pain. Shifting your weight to one side may also help. How does a disc become herniated? As you grow older, the discs in your spine weaken and become flatter — less cushiony. If a disc becomes too weak, the outer part may tear. The inside part of the disc then pushes through the tear and presses on the nerves beside it. Herniated discs are most common in people in their 30s and 40s. Treatment Treatment generally consists of pain management medication, exercises to help strengthen the muscles around the discs and to improve your posture, and in severe cases surgery. Every case is different so if you’re dealing with back pain, talk to your doctor for help and diagnosis.
No matter what the injury, being injured is not fun. The injury itself can be painful and the recovery time keeps you down. Nobody likes being injured! Did you know, injuries are a leading cause of disability for people of all ages – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. But, there are many things people can do to stay safe and prevent injuries. There is so much information out there about injury prevention, we just wanted to share a few overall health tips to help you stay injury free in any situation.
- Warm Up Warming up is extremely important to a successful workout or training session. However, it’s even more important to reducing your risk of injury. By warming up, you’re making sure that your muscles are receiving enough blood and nutrients to work properly. Starting a hard workout before warming up means you’ll be working muscles when they don’t have enough fuel to take on a hard workout. Think of turning on your car in the cold weather and trying to accelerate fast. Your car has a harder time running without properly warming up first. It’s similar to working out before warming up. Strains are one of the most common injuries resulting from not warming up properly.
- Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep means your body is getting the rest it needs to perform at optimal speed. It means you’ll be more alert and less likely to end up with a traumatic injury from a stumble and fall. The body needs sleep to rejuvenate. Without that rejuvenation time, you’re more likely to injure yourself.
- Know When To Rest Over-training is one of the biggest leaders of injuries, especially overuse injuries like strains. Similar to getting enough sleep, your body needs time to rest between hard workouts. Overworking your muscles means putting more strain on them than what they can handle. Knowing your limits and listening to your body can mean the difference between staying pain-free and getting an injury.
- Know Your Weaknesses Everybody has a weakness. This weakness is what leads to injuries like strains and tears. Learning where your weaknesses lie means that you can target those muscles and strengthen them. Athletic trainers and physical therapists are especially knowledgeable in determining a weakness. They can then suggest proper training techniques and exercises that will strengthen those areas.
- Cross-Train and Condition Ensuring you’re working all the muscles means that you’re strengthening your body as a whole. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments all support each other. Whether you feel like you’re using a particular muscle or not, it’s supporting your body in one way or another as you work. Cross training will ensure you’re working all the muscles of the body, and not just specific ones. Cross training and conditioning leads to overall fitness, making sure you’re strong and well rounded.