How to beat the summer heat

Heat can be a dangerous factor in everyday life, especially in the summer. Heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. However, you can help yourself and others by following simple safety rules.

Only two hours a day in an air-conditioned space can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Remember to stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities such as running, biking and lawn care work when the temperatures rise. Early mornings and late evenings are the best time to participate in such activities.

Clothing is important to stay cool during a summer day. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes to help maintain normal body temperature. To avoid too much sunlight, which can lead to sunburn, wear a wide-brimmed hat and use sunscreen with a high SPF.

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Allow your pets to have access to shade and a bowl of water to help them stay cool.

Remember to always think of others when handling the heat. Never leave a child or a pet in a closed vehicle. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach up to 190 degrees within 30 minutes on a hot day.

Keeping lights turned down or off and limiting the use of an oven can help the environment on a sunny day, as well.

Learn the symptoms and first aid of heat disorders with the information below:

  •  The symptoms of Sunburn include skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever and headaches. Take a shower, using soap, to remove oils that may block pores preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.
  •  Heat Cramps can cause heavy sweating and are painful spasms usually in the leg and abdominal muscles. Firm pressure on cramping muscles or a gentle massage will relieve spasms. Give the victim sips of water and if nausea occurs, discontinue.
  •  Heat Exhaustion causes heavy sweating, weakness and cold, pale and clammy skin. There could be a weak pulse, fainting or vomiting. However, normal temperature is possible. Get victim to lie down in a cool place and loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths and fan or move victim to an air-conditioned place. Give sips of water and if nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
  •  Heat Stroke (Sun Stroke) causes high body temperature (106+); hot, dry skin; rapid, strong pulse; and possible unconsciousness. The victim will likely not sweat. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Delay can be fatal, therefore, call 911 or get the victim to a hospital immediately. Move the victim to a cooler environment, such as a cool bath to reduce body temperature. Remove clothing and use fans and/or air conditioners. Do not give fluids to the victim. Use extreme caution.

Cook up some safety this summer

In the summer, it is important to practice safe food handling when preparing foods such as poultry, meat, seafood, egg and other perishable items. Although the warmer weather is perfect for enjoying a meal outdoors, it can also provide an environment for bacteria and cause illness. Follow these suggestions to reduce the risk of foodborne illness this summer.

Always wash your hands before and after handling food. You can also use disposable wipes or biodegradable soap for hand and dishwashing.

When grilling food, preheat the coals on your grill for 20 to 30 minutes and use a food thermometer to ensure that the food reaches a safe internal temperature. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Roasts and steaks may be cooked to 145 degrees for medium rare or 160 degrees for medium. Poultry must reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas, fish should be opaque and flake easily. When taking food off the grill, do not put cooked food items back on the same plate that held the raw food, unless it has been washed.

Cold food, such as luncheon meats or potato salad, should always be kept cold in an insulated cooler packed with ice. The cooler should also be out of direct sun and in the shade whenever possible. If you are unable to bring a cooler, pack only foods that are safe without refrigeration, such as fruits, vegetables or peanut butter.

You will need to stay hydrated during the warm weather, thus always remember to bring bottled water. Otherwise, boil water or use water purification tablets to avoid bacteria.

Cedar Street Church donates to SOMC Hospice

New Boston’s Cedar Street Church recently donated more than $300 to SOMC Hospice after raising the funds through a “penny war” at Vacation Bible School. The competition pitted the boys and girls of the church against one another with each side attempting to bring in the most pennies for the cause. The girls raised more pennies and all funds raised went to providing for the hospital’s hospice patients. Pictured here are Robin Malone of Cedar Street Church alongside her daughter and Susan Goins of SOMC Hospice.

Dive into water safety

Water activities can be a great way to escape the heat, but safety is also important. Following simple rules for the water can allow you and your family to have a fun and safe summer.

Teaching children the fundamentals of swimming allows them to acquire the skills and knowledge of water safety. Therefore, enroll your family in age-appropriate swim lessons, such as Red Cross water orientation or learn-to-swim courses.

Establish rules for your family. At public pools, children should always swim with others and check if there is a lifeguard on duty. They should also ask permission to go near water and wear life jackets to stay safe. Life jackets are especially important to wear while on a boat.

If you own a pool, ensure that barriers enclose the entire pool area with gates that can prevent a young child from entering the pool unattended. Remove access ladders when the above-ground pool is not in use. Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water—seconds count in preventing death or disability.

If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.

Tips for avoiding bites and stings

Although they may seem harmless, insects can cause pain, harm and discomfort. Follow simple bug safety rules to help avoid irritating bites and stings.

Reduce the use of perfumes, hair sprays and scented soaps. Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as gardens and stagnant pools of water. You should also avoid wearing clothing with bright colors or flowery prints that could potentially attract an unwanted insect. In the evenings, cover your skin with long sleeved shirts, pants and socks to prevent mosquito bites.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours; however, insect repellent does not need to be reapplied. Therefore, avoid combining sunscreen and insect repellent.

Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus and ticks can carry Lyme Disease. Thus, using insect repellents containing DEET helps prevent insect-related diseases. DEET should not be used on children younger than 2 months old. The concentration of DEET varies significantly, so read the label and choose the lowest concentration that will provide the required length of coverage.

Shower and check for ticks as soon as possible after coming indoors. Ticks can be easily removed with a pair of tweezers. If you’ve been stung by an insect, gently remove the visible stinger from your skin by scraping it with a credit card or your fingernail.

Consult a doctor if you develop a rash, fever, body aches, headache, stiff neck, fatigue or disorientation 1-3 weeks following a bite.

Time to “Sweat to the Beat of African Drums”

Sweat to the Beat of African Drums is returning to the SOMC LIFE Center Saturday, July 12 from 5:00-6:30pm.

Learn how to drum the rhythms of South Africa and get a dance-fit workout in, all in the same class. The cost of the session will be $10, and it will be open to the public for ages 14 and up. Non-members between the ages 14-18 will be required to be signed in by a parent or guardian.

For more information about the SOMC LIFE Center, visit www.somc.org/life.

One More Camp LIFE Session Available this Summer

Parents looking for a unique way to keep their children active, healthy and occupied this summer are encouraged to sign up for Camp LIFE at SOMC.

“Camp LIFE is a fun opportunity for kids to make new friends, get fit, and learn skills that will help them stay healthy long after camp is over,” Brad Zieber, supervisor of PT, PEC and Special Projects at the SOMC LIFE Center, said.

The program is open to children ages 7 to 13. The next session of the camp will take place July 7-11, with drop-off at 8:45 a.m. and activities lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the SOMC LIFE Center. Off-site educational opportunities are also scheduled.

“During camp, we teach children the basic principles of nutrition and exercise through cooking and physical activities that keep them entertained,” Zieber said. “We prepare lunch and snacks together, play healthy games, and stress the importance of fitness through daily walks, swimming and other sports. We’ve designed Camp LIFE in a way that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of physical condition or ability. Our goal is to lay the foundation for healthy living in a fun, supportive environment.”

Cost to participate is $85 per child. For more information or to register, please call 740-356-7650.

 

SOMC hosting Tropical Casino Night

The SOMC Development Foundation is hosting Tropical Casino Night on July 26 at the SOMC Friends Center.

With the attire as business casual, guests will be able to relax and enjoy the evening starting with social hour beginning at 7:30pm. Gaming is from 8:00pm to 11:00pm and winners will be announced from 11:00pm to 11:30pm.

Proceeds from Tropical Casino Night will benefit the SOMC Nursery Project and the SOMC Development Foundation.

“We’re here to make a difference in our community,” Kara Redoutey, Director of Development, said. “Tropical Casino Night is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to have a great time while contributing to a good cause.”

The SOMC Development Foundation encompasses fundraising efforts for Hospice, Cancer, Employee Relief, Heart & Vascular, Pediatrics, Community Health and Wellness, the Endowment Fund and the areas of greatest need. These funds enable SOMC to continually deliver extraordinary care for future generations to come.

There are two sponsorship levels, Diamond and Pearl, which provide the sponsor with a variety of benefits. For $1,000, Diamond sponsors will receive 10 tickets, 2 pitchers of margaritas, $25,000 in funny money per person, recognition at a gaming table and recognition at the event. For a $500 contribution, Pearl sponsors receive 4 tickets, $25,000 in funny money per person and recognition at a gaming table. Individual tickets are available for $50 and guests will receive $25,000 in funny money.

Please make checks payable to: SOMC Development Foundation. For more information about SOMC Development Foundation, visit somc.org/development.

SOMC offering free breast screenings

Southern Ohio Medical Center is providing free clinical breast screenings on the following days: July 10 from 9am-12pm; August 18 from 9am-12pm; and September 11 from 1pm-4pm at the SOMC Breast Center.

Free mammograms will be provided for women who are uninsured or underinsured through the Hands of Hope program funded by The Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Koman for the Cure in cooperation with SOMC. Screenings conducted will offer same-day mammography if needed.

To register, call the SOMC volunteer office at 740-356-8234, or learn more about breast cancer by visiting www.somccancer.org.