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The Heat Is On: Staying Safe When Temperatures Soar

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Capture 5a Midsummer heat and high humidity aren't just uncomfortable -- they're a combo that can cause serious illness and even death. Babies and seniors are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses because they don't regulate their core temperature well, experts warned. Others at high risk include folks with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and depression. That's because of their overall health status and medications they may take. But heat-related illness can strike anyone. It's important to know what to watch for: Heat cramps -- muscle spasms that most often occur in the stomach, hands, arms, legs or back -- are often the first sign of heat-related illness. If you develop heat cramps, sit down, drink fluids and move to a cool, preferably air-conditioned place indoors. Apply cold compresses or take a cool shower. If cramps are accompanied by nausea, dizziness, fainting, vomiting or headaches, you may have heat exhaustion. Get inside, sip water and rest. Use cold compresses or take a cool shower after symptoms subside. Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can be deadly. Symptoms include confusion, hot and dry skin, an inability to sweat and a body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If someone has these symptoms, call 911 and move the person to a cooler place. If the person is confused, don't offer water because they may not be able to swallow it properly. Emergency personnel will administer IV fluids when they arrive. The best way to avoid danger is the also the simplest one: Stay indoors on the hottest days. Move regular outdoor workouts indoors, either at home or at an air-conditioned gym. Or go for a walk at a shopping mall. If you must venture outdoors, try the following suggestions: Drink water or low-sugar sports drinks. Avoid alcohol, caffeine or sugary drinks, which can dehydrate. Wear loose, cool clothing and use a cool mist spray. Stay out of the sun during the hottest time of day (usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.). If you're going to be outside for a while, take along frozen plastic water bottles. Place them behind your neck, on your forehead or cheeks to cool down. Each year, there are about 700 heat-related deaths in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Know the Signs of Alcohol Overdose

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Capture 4 Experts warn that simple holiday fun can quickly turn deadly when alcohol is involved. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offered these reminders about the dangers of alcohol overdose and urged everyone to drink responsibly or not at all. Binge or high-intensity drinking -- drinking too much too quickly -- can lead to significant impairment in motor coordination, decision-making, impulse control and other functions, according to the NIAAA. Continuing to drink despite clear signs of significant impairment can lead to an overdose. Signs of an alcohol overdose include mental confusion, difficulty remaining conscious, vomiting, seizure, slow heart rate, and slow or irregular breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute or 10 seconds or more between breaths). Other signs are clammy skin, extremely low body temperature that might include pale or bluish skin and dulled responses, such as no gag reflex. The gag reflex can prevent choking. An alcohol overdose happens when there is so much alcohol in the bloodstream that areas of the brain begin to shut down. These control basic life-support functions, including breathing, heart rate and temperature. This can lead to permanent brain damage or death, the NIAAA said. Binge drinking is defined as having four drinks over a two-hour period if you're a woman, or five drinks if you're a man. High-intensity drinking is two or more times that amount. Teenagers and young adults are at a particular risk because research shows they often engage in this type of drinking. Even small increases in blood alcohol content (BAC) can decrease motor coordination and cloud judgment, increasing the risk of injury from a fall, car crash or violence or from engaging in unprotected or unintended sex. BAC can continue to rise even when a person stops drinking or is unconscious as alcohol in the stomach and intestine continues to enter the bloodstream. Never leave an unconscious person to "sleep it off," the NIAAA warned. If you suspect someone has an alcohol overdose, call 911 immediately. Do not wait for the person to have all the symptoms. Be aware that a person who has passed out can die. Do not leave an intoxicated person alone, as he or she is at risk of injury from falling or choking, including on his or her own vomit. Be aware that cold showers, hot coffee or walking do not reverse the effects of alcohol overdose and could actually make things worse. While waiting for medical help to arrive, be prepared to tell first responders as much as you can about what the person was drinking, whether he or she took drugs and any health information that you know about the person, including allergies, medications and existing health conditions. Keep the person on the ground in a sitting or partially upright position rather than in a chair. Help a person who is vomiting by having the person lean forward to prevent choking. If a person is unconscious or lying down, roll him or her onto one side with an ear toward the ground, also to prevent choking, according to the NIAAA. Risk varies and can be influenced by age, sensitivity/tolerance, gender, drinking speed, medications a person is taking or how much food has been eaten. Opioids, certain sleep and anti-anxiety medications, and even over-the-counter antihistamines can increase the risk of an overdose. Using alcohol with opioid pain relievers such as oxycodone and morphine or illicit opioids such as heroin is a very dangerous combination, the agency warned. More information The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on alcohol and public health.

Safe Senior Exercise Options for Summer

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3. Canva - Senior Exercise Sunshine and warm weather have many people thinking about new workout options. If you’re ready to kickstart your fitness routine—but want to do so safely—consider these three simple tips: Check in with your gym about its COVID-safe offerings Many Americans who have been avoiding public places this past year are now looking to expand their horizons, including going back to a gym. Growing numbers of gyms now offer outdoor workout spaces that include many of the weight training and aerobics equipment choices you previously enjoyed indoors—treadmills, stair climbers, weight machines, free weights—and even outdoor classes. Outdoors or indoors, many gyms continue to maintain at least six feet between each workout station, require masks within the space, and provide free hand sanitizer, clean equipment assurances and other COVID-safe protocols. Give your gym a call or visit the location to find out what specific COVID-safe guidelines are in place there, so you can determine whether you’re ready to resume your gym routine. Increase your outdoor exercise routine After being cooped up for months, getting outside can work wonders for your physical health and emotional well-being. Take yourself to a park to explore a new walking or hiking path. There are several apps that can locate hiking trails near you. Challenge a friend to a regular game of tennis, pickleball or bocce ball. Or dust off your bicycles and enjoy the freedom of feeling the wind in your faces. Establishing a fun exercise routine with a friend can motivate you to keep it up and help lift your spirits. Older adults reported increased feelings of isolation last year. Exercising with a friend can help you shake off the loneliness blues. Being outdoors offers the added benefit of providing you with a dose of vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and to enhance bone health and immune system function. Regularly spending time outdoors is the most natural way to get the recommended 10 to 30 minutes of sun exposure several times a week. Just don’t forget to put on sunscreen. Augment your workout with home exercise classes National guidelines recommend that you get at least 150 minutes per week of exercise. To make sure you’re meeting that, augment your workout routine with home exercise classes that you can view on your laptop, phone or other devices. For best results, mix things up. Incorporate cardio exercise classes with strength training videos that use resistance bands or free weights. If you want to improve balance or flexibility, try a yoga or tai chi class. Now can be your time to get back into a fitness routine—or start a new one. Find workout options that you love and that motivate you to stick with them. Then make the most of the season. As always, before you start any new exercise routine, talk to your doctor to discuss your goals and what types of exercise might be safest for you.

Six Questions to Ask Your Doctor About COVID-19 Vaccines

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2. Canva - Covid Vaccine Questions While most American adults have already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a lot of people still have questions. Everyone deserves to have access to factual information to make a decision about getting vaccinated. But many people don’t know where to go to get their questions answered. For most people who want more information, talking to their personal doctor is the best place to start. Your doctor or health team will know you and your medical situation better than anyone. They can help you make an informed decision that’s right for you. When talking with your doctor, there are a few key questions you may want to consider: Vaccine Questions:

  1. Why did your doctor choose to get vaccinated? More than 90 percent of doctors have decided to get vaccinated against COVID-19. You may want to hear more about why they chose to get vaccinated as a healthcare provider.
  2. Why should you get vaccinated? Your doctor can make a recommendation based on your unique medical situation. The vaccines provide substantial protection from serious illness and hospitalization.
  3. Are the vaccines safe? These vaccines are undergoing the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Clinical trials began over a year ago with more participants than most other vaccines. Your doctor can help determine safety based on your personal medical history.
  4. Do the vaccines impact fertility? This myth has been appearing online but there is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems. Ask your doctor if you have concerns around fertility or pregnancy.
  5. Are the vaccines free? Yes, the vaccines are provided by the federal government at no cost to recipients.
  6. Can you get a vaccine from your primary care doctor? Your primary care doctor may have COVID-19 vaccines available in their office. If not, they can help direct you to the closest location where you can receive a vaccine.

Tips for Shedding Those Pandemic Pounds

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Living may be easier during the warmer weather seasons but that doesn’t mean your wellness goals should be swept under the rug. Whether you’re at home, road tripping with friends and family, or grilling in your backyard, the following is a range of healthy suggestions for the summer.
  1. Develop an action plan: Use this time as an opportunity to develop a nutritionally balanced meal plan that focuses on real, whole foods that charge your metabolism and help you feel energized.
A structured meal plan can help you lose weight and get healthier. For example, the company’s Metabolic Plan focuses on repairing metabolic health with whole foods that are affordable, simple to prepare and easy to find in a restaurant or convenience store. It’s effective because:
  • You stay fuller longer and don’t have to fight with hunger and cravings
  • You can eat delicious foods that you want to eat—you are in control
  • There’s no diet isolation. You eat the same foods as your family and friends
  1. Don’t be afraid to rock out at your cookout: The truth is everyone enjoys a good backyard cookout. The key is to make sure that you’re enjoying the tastes of the season without having a detrimental effect on your healthy eating plan.
  2. Burn off pandemic pounds: It’s essential to take advantage of the warmer weather to exercise away those pandemic pounds that many people packed on over the past year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on two or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits. Switching up your seasonal fitness regimen can be key to staying motivated and consistent when building new, healthier habits.

Ten Easy Ways To Get A Dose Of Vitamin N(ature) In Just Ten Minutes

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5. Canva - Vitamin Nature A growing body of scientific evidence proves getting outside (i.e., being an “outsider”) is good for our health and well-being. Exploring and appreciating nature—in our own backyards, community parks and school yards—reduces stress, improves memory, boosts heart health, and offers a host of other benefits for our minds and bodies. Getting outside, even for just 10 minutes, can do much to boost your mood, productivity, and quality of life. Here are 10 easy ways you can enjoy nature in under 10 minutes. Take a walk. Lace up your athletic shoes and head out for a walk around the block or to your neighborhood park. While you’re out, commit to turning off your cell phone and enjoying the natural setting around you (it’s just 10 minutes, after all!). Get your kids moving. A rousing game of tag or hide-and-seek in the family yard is a great way to counter computer and screen time. Play with your dog. A dog’s favorite “room” of the house is your family yard. Take inspiration from your pooch and spend a few minutes outside playing Frisbee or fetch. Clean up your outdoor living room. Make simple work of yard chores by breaking them up into smaller chunks. Ten minutes is enough time to put a serious dent in weeding a flower bed, sweeping off the back patio, or picking up debris from your lawn. Plant something. It is spring planting season, so take 10 minutes to dig a hole and introduce a new plant or get started on your vegetable garden or flower beds. Dine alfresco. Taking a meal outside is one of the easiest—and most nourishing—ways to enjoy the outdoor space around you. Have breakfast with the backyard birds. Lunch at a park near your office. Enjoy your coffee break under a shade tree. Study or read a book. Take the “work” out of homework by moving study or reading sessions to your backyard or community green space. Swap a (short) commute for walking or biking. Do you typically use your car to run down to the mailbox, to a nearby convenience store, or to run other nearby daily errands? If it’s not too far, take a short walk or ride your bike instead. Meet outside. Fresh air can be a catalyst for fresh ideas, so take your next brainstorming session for work outdoors. Need to have a heart-to-heart with your child? Scientists have discovered that communication between parents and children is more connected when conducted outside. Sit back and relax. Sometimes, the best thing to do is absolutely nothing at all. Spend some time in a hammock, spread a blanket out on the grass, or take a meditation break outside to soak up the nature around you.

Healthful School Lunches: What Parents Need To Know

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4. Canva - Healthy School Lunch The healthfulness of school lunches is one of the top three parental concerns of this school season, according to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll. The survey covered a number of parental worries for their school-aged kids, including their safety, whether they’ll make new friends, quality of education, and homework load. However, 44 percent of respondents prioritized healthful school lunches after the quality of their children’s teachers, and ahead of the cost of school supplies. Taking a deeper look into school lunches, the survey also found that the average child buys lunch about three times a week and, while healthful eating is a top concern for parents, 36 percent admitted they don’t typically know what their child eats at school. Making Good Nutrition A Part of Kids’ Everyday Life What with pizza, mystery meat, and the variety of fried options offered at school, most parents say their child eats healthiest when at home or when they pack their kids’ lunches themselves. Unfortunately, the survey also found that 45 percent of parents admit that they don’t always have time or have forgotten to prepare a sack lunch for their kids to take to school. country that are working with parents to improve both the nutrition levels and taste of school meals.” According to the survey, only about a quarter of parents know both the nutrient and calorie value of the foods their children eat for lunch, whether homemade or purchased. The Importance of Knowing Nutritional Value of Food Building a balanced meal—including dairy, vegetables, fruits, grains and protein—doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. What is most important is making sure that the calories your children consume are jam-packed with the nutrients they need for energy and growth—a concept known as “nutrient density.” Emphasizing nutrient-dense foods is a great way to rethink how you pack your kids’ lunches—and how you plan meals at home, too. Simply put, nutrient-dense foods are those that pack a lot of nutrients relative to their calorie cost. When choosing between two food items with the same calorie amount, one food choice could provide your body with the protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins or minerals it needs every day, while another choice may provide empty calories from sugar and saturated fat with no other significant nutrients. Ideally, a meal should be made up of mostly nutrient-dense foods, with fewer “calorie-dense” foods—such as fats and sugars—which are high in calories relative to the nutrients they contain. When parents do pack a lunch, the survey reported, tasty food is their top priority (64 percent), as well as foods that parents know their child will eat (64 percent), followed by healthy options (62 percent). Some ideas for nutrient-packed, healthful foods that most kids will enjoy include omega-3-rich tuna fish, sweet and crunchy carrots, strawberries packed with potassium and vitamin C, and nuts, which can replace chips to satisfy cravings for salty, crunchy items. However, the survey also found that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich continues to be the staple menu item most parents pack for their children. To make it more nutrient dense, parents can simply replace the white bread with whole grain bread and use a low- or no-sugar-added peanut butter and jelly, to make the sandwich more healthful, with better nutritional value.

How To Scratch Head Lice Off Your List Of Worries

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3. Canva - Head Lice One of the most common human parasitic infestations around, head lice affect an estimated 6-12 million Americans annually, most of them children. If your kids are at risk, here’s something you should know: Catching lice early is vital to helping stop the spread of these itchy pests. What To Do

  • Since it can take 4 to 6 weeks for symptoms such as itching to show up, it’s a good idea to make weekly lice checks a habit at home to stop an infestation before it gets out of control.
  • Don’t share items that touch the head. Teach children to keep their hats, helmets, brushes, headbands, scarves and other items to themselves.
  • When possible, have children wear long hair pulled back.
  • Catch it early. If you notice your child scratching his head, do a thorough check.
  • Act quickly. If you are notified of an outbreak, immediately check your child’s hair, searching for nits close to the scalp or sores from scratching at the nape of the neck or behind the ears. Check all family members using a nit comb. Apply a 50/50 solution of conditioner and water to the hair to make combing easier. Work under bright light and watch for movement. Examine the comb after each stroke.
  • Don’t worry and don’t blame the child. Even if your kid does bring home lice, it’s not the end of the world. There are affordable pesticide-free over-the-counter products that can help you treat the problem without having to spend a lot of time or money on going to a clinic.
Here’s How To Handle The Problem Treat anyone who’s infested. There are more options than ever before for treating head lice, however not all products work the same. With lice growing increasingly resistant to traditional over-the-counter pesticides, look for a pesticide-free treatment that’s clinically proven effective against super lice and eggs. If a product doesn’t specifically say it “kills” lice and eggs, it won’t. Some products are designed only to make removal combing of lice easier.

Ignite Immunity, Clean Naturally With Lemons

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2. Canva - Lemon If you’re among the increasing number of Americans keen on natural solutions to boost immunity these days, you may be glad to know the answer may be right in your refrigerator—or should be. Loaded with vitamin C and zinc, and with key antioxidant qualities, Limoneira Lemons can play a vital role in helping the immune system adapt to new threats and conditions. Experts have cited lemons as a way to “reduce the risk of complications from a cold or flu, and reduce inflammation in the body.” Experiments have also found that lemon juice can destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases. Lemons are also a boon to any kitchen or DIY beauty routine—plus, they’re a handy sustainability tool. Use them to make life simpler without investing in potentially toxic chemicals or overpriced solutions. In fact, beyond their immunity-boosting benefits, lemons provide natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that let you clean and disinfect your home, naturally. Here’s how to create a useful all-purpose cleaner for your kitchen and bathroom that can help your house smell spring fresh all year: Combine equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. You can use it nearly anywhere. For wood surfaces, create a polish by mixing one cup of olive oil and one-half cup of lemon juice. Test it first on a small spot.

Talk To Your Healthcare Provider About A Better Way To Treat Migraine

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1. Canva - Migraine Contrary to popular belief, migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s a serious, often incapacitating, neurological disease. In addition to serious pain, migraine can also cause nausea or vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light, sounds and smell. Nearly 40 million people in the United States live with this debilitating health problem, but since not every migraine sufferer experiences migraine in the same way, finding the right treatment approach can be challenging. In fact, finding a fast-acting, easy-to-use treatment that does not aggravate migraine symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting, can feel like an uphill battle. Starting a dialogue with your healthcare provider is the first step in finding a migraine treatment that works for you. Here are some questions that might help set you on the right path to finding migraine relief.


There are so many migraine treatments available. How do I know which one is right for me? Treatment choices for acute migraine should be based on headache severity, migraine frequency, associated symptoms and any underlying conditions. It’s important to let your healthcare provider know if your migraine causes nausea or vomiting as it may interfere with taking an oral medication. There are several different categories of acute treatments for migraines, two of the most common being analgesics and triptans.6 Analgesics are considered nonspecific migraine medications as they work on pain symptoms in general, while triptans are one type of migraine medication that specifically targets migraine.6 Triptans are the main class of drug used for the acute treatment of migraine and tend to work well if administered early in the course of a migraine attack. How do I know if my migraine medication is working successfully? A good way to tell if your acute medication is working is to ask yourself these questions:
  • Are you pain-free within two hours?
  • Are you functioning normally in 3-4 hours?
  • Does your migraine respond to treatment consistently at least 50% of the time?
  • Are you always able to swallow or keep down your acute medication?

If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, then you and your healthcare provider may want to reassess your treatment plan. I experience nausea with my migraine so taking an oral medicine is difficult. I need a medicine that works fast — what are some of my options? You’re not alone. Sometimes an oral medication is sub-optimal, particularly for patients that experience migraine with nausea or vomiting. Surveys have revealed that as many as 90% of migraine sufferers experience these symptoms, and many find it more difficult to take and thus absorb oral medication. Patients who can’t take oral medication should consider asking their healthcare provider for an alternative treatment. With the many treatment options available for the acute treatment of migraine, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about which treatment is right for you.