Many U.S. parents don't take proper precautions to protect their children from fireworks-related burns and injuries, claims a new survey released just ahead of the Fourth of July. The poll of more than 2,000 parents of children ages 3-18 was conducted this spring and found that more than half said someone in their family or neighborhood set off fireworks in the past two years. Only 1 in 5 said children stayed at least 100 feet away from where fireworks were being set off, and one-third said their children or teens helped set off fireworks in the past two years. One in 5 parents said they'd allow their child 10 or younger to help set off fireworks, a third said they'd let youngsters ages 11-15 do so, and more than a quarter said they'd permit older teens to get involved, according to the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. "For many families, setting off fireworks is a favorite summer tradition, but fireworks are unpredictable. It's essential that parents keep children far away from where those fireworks are set off," said in a poll news release. "Our poll suggests that some parents may need to be more diligent to ensure a safe environment that minimizes these risks and protects children from firework injuries," the news release said. "Parents differ on what age they would allow their child to be part of setting off fireworks," the release said. "But parents need to ensure children are at the right age and maturity level to understand the dangers involved and importance of carefully following all safety rules. If the child is not ready to do these things, their risk of burns, eye injuries and other accidents is increased." About 15,600 people were seen at U.S. emergency rooms because of fireworks injuries in 2020, which is 56 percent more than the 10,000 in 2019, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. While some parents believe sparklers are less dangerous, they burn at 1,000 degrees and can cause serious burns if not handled properly. The following fireworks safety tips:
- Stay at least 100 feet away from where any fireworks are set off.
- If setting off your own fireworks, buy legal ones that are clearly labeled for consumer use and follow directions and safety guidelines carefully.
- Wear goggles or other eye protection and keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of a fire.
You never forget how to ride a bike. But if you're like many adults, you might need a refresher course in bike safety. Perhaps you're pulling that ten-speed out of storage for the first time in years. Perhaps a recent wreck or close call has made you suddenly aware of the hazards of the road. Or maybe you're teaching your kid how to ride a bike and suddenly want to set a good example. Whatever your motivation, taking a moment to learn (or relearn) the rules of safe cycling can help you avoid a serious injury or worse. A study of cyclists who collided with cars found that severe injury and death become much more likely when cyclists fail to follow basic principles of safety. Follow the rules of the road As soon as your bike leaves your driveway, it’s a vehicle just like any other vehicle, and you're the driver. OK, its lighter and smaller than most vehicles, but it still has to follow the rules of the road. Wherever you ride, you should travel in the same direction as traffic. Many cyclists overlook this basic rule, but it's important for at least two reasons. First, other drivers won’t be looking for bicycles or anything else moving the wrong way down a street, especially when they're making a turn. Riding with traffic is simply the best way to be seen. Also, riding with traffic lets you see stop signs and traffic signals, which of course you should follow. Always remember that you are just one vehicle among many. You'll often have to give the right of way to cars and pedestrians. When possible, ride on the side of the road to give cars room to pass. Where legal, the sidewalk can be a reasonable place to ride. Just be sure to give pedestrians plenty of space and watch for cars entering and leaving driveways. If it's been a while since you've been on a bike, you might want to practice some basic skills before you ride anywhere with a lot of traffic. You should be able to look behind you while pedaling without wobbling or swerving. Remind yourself of the crucial difference between the rear brake and the front brake. If you're really whizzing down the road, hitting the front brake first practically guarantees an end-over-end crash. Hit the rear brake first and start slowing down before gradually using the front brake. Ride smart Ultimately, there's a lot more to bicycle safety than memorizing rules. When you're on your bike, you need to use your head for more than just a place to keep your helmet. Pay attention to the traffic around you. The world is full of bad drivers, and even good drivers can occasionally fail to see a cyclist. Here are some other tips from seasoned cyclists:
- Wear some reflective clothing even during the day. You may feel a little silly, but it's easier for drivers to notice you.
- Use a mirror and never move left without looking behind you first.
- Don't pass on the right.
- If a car is already waiting at a red light, stop and wait behind it rather than beside it (this is often the driver's blind spot).
- To avoid cars pulling out of side streets and driveways, honk your bike horn or hit the bell if you see one approaching or waiting. If you can't make eye contact, slow down and prepare to stop if you need to.
- Ride far enough to the left to avoid crashing into a car door if it opens unexpectedly.
- Don't wear an iPod in traffic. You need to be able to hear the cars around you. Watch the road for glass or other hazards.
As the thought of getting in a bathing suit looms, quick-fix diets can be tempting. A few weeks of restrictive eating and cutting calories and you’ll be to your ideal shape, right? Unfortunately, short-term diets — no matter what kind they are — tend to backfire pretty easily. “The hormonal and neural control of weight loss is incredibly complicated, which is why weight loss can be so easy in theory, and yet so difficult in practice,” Northwestern Medicine Metabolic Health and Surgical Weight Loss Center at Delnor Hospital said in a report. “Our brains are incredibly sophisticated when it comes to managing our energy balance, and weight gain tends to be a maladaptive response,” the report said. Your body doesn’t want to lose weight This is due in part to a “set point” and “settling point” weight, the report said. “We have a genetic predisposition to be a certain weight — a set point — but, there is some wiggle room when it comes to how our environment interacts with our genetic predispositions.” This wiggle room is our “settling point,” and can be affected by things like the foods we eat and our exercise habits. Think of it like a thermostat that’s set on a program to be 70 degrees at all times, explains Lowden. “You can change the thermostat down to 65 degrees, but eventually that program is going to kick in that bumps the temperature back up,” the report said. That’s why it might not be so difficult to lose a couple of pounds, but lose too many and you set off the thermostat. When you’re below the weight that your body is most comfortable with, you’ll be fighting your hormones to maintain it.
The sun’s warm rays may feel good, but they can leave behind painful reminders in the form of a sunburn. Your feet are particularly vulnerable because it’s easy to forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet. Plus, moisture and water exposure at the beach or pool can wash away even the most careful applications of sunscreen. If you find yourself with sunburned and swollen feet, there are remedies to help. Keep reading to find out what to do, and when you should skip the drugstore and call a doctor. What’s the best way to treat sunburned, swollen feet? When your feet are swollen and sunburned, you want to focus on measures that reduce swelling and create cooling sensations while your skin heals. Examples of these steps include: Soak in cold water. Create a cool water foot bath by getting a small tub (available at most drugstores) and filling it with cool water. Soak your feet for about 10 minutes. Gently pat your feet dry, and apply a moisturizer to protect against dryness. Don’t use ice in the water. Water that’s too cold can damage your skin. Add soothing ingredients. Add extra ingredients to the foot bath (if desired). Examples include apple cider vinegar to promote healing, baking soda to reduce inflammation, or oatmeal to reduce itching. Cover with cool compresses. Apply cool compresses by dipping soft washcloths in cool water and draping them over your feet. Apply moisturizer. Apply moisturizer to keep the skin soothed. Those containing aloe vera or soy are usually excellent choices. Go shoeless. Minimize the amount of time you wear shoes in the first few days after the sunburn. Shoes can increase friction and pressure, which slows healing. Reduce friction. Wear open-toed shoes (such as flip-flops) when you do need to wear shoes. Know that you may need to loosen straps on sandals if they feel especially tight. Stay hydrated. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Sunburn can lead to dehydration by drawing water to the damaged cells. Ensure you are drinking enough water, so your urine is pale yellow in color. Don’t pop blisters. Refrain from popping blisters that may appear on your feet. While it can be difficult to resist popping these blisters, doing so could reveal vulnerable skin that hasn’t had time to heal. Take anti-inflammatory medication. Take an over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. Avoid applying products that contain local anesthetics — these will end in the letters “-caine.” Products containing anesthetics may actually do more harm than good by causing allergic reactions and irritation.
We all love to take in those warm summer rays, but everyone must remember to protect their skin and eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. The sun emits radiation known as UV-A and UV-B rays. Both types can damage your eyes and skin:
- UV-B rays have short wavelengths that reach the outer layer of your skin • UV-A rays have longer wavelengths that can penetrate the middle layer of your skin
- Cause vision problems and damage to your eyes • Suppression of the immune system • Premature aging of the skin • Skin cancer
- Cover Up: Wearing a Hat (preferably wide brimmed) or other shade-protective clothing can partly shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV ray exposure. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and Sunglasses - for eye protection.
- Stay in the Shade: The sun's glare is most intense at midday. Staying in the shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. will further protect your skin. The sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter. For this reason, it is important to stay protected throughout the year.
- Choose the Right Sunscreen: This is extremely important. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UV-A) and Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays.
- Use the Right Amount of Sunscreen: According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it's important that you apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. You should apply it more often if you are sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.