- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
The Heat Of Summer Is Here!
The Season Has Changed
Since I was a child, through my science education, the subject of global warming always was discussed. The seasonal changes in my region, the East Coast of the United States, are quite marked as traditional. Autumn months are from September 21 to December 20, with weather that is characterized by increased precipitation, cooler winds, shorter days with less sun,which causes everything green to wither and turn brown. Winter months from December 21 through March 20 characterized by cold, precipitation which ranges from frozen to snowy; Spring months are from March 21 to June 20, which are wet and cool then changes to warm, balmy and green. Following the warm balmy climate of spring, summer arrives. I think the spring season has shortened itself, and thus, I want to owe it to "global warming". And perhaps, as I get older, I find that I just don't enjoy being in the heat.
Summer time to a child means no school, longer days to play outside (in my region, daylight is as late as 9:30pm by the month of July, (eastern standard time, US). Summer time to an adult who is a parent with active children means less time for themselves with a need to plan ahead for family activities. And in this day and age, if together time is impossible for parents and children to be together, then being prepared for the children's needs and wishes is necessary.
The Effects Of Summer Sun
Summer heat from the sun calls for hydration. Be aware that the heat is detrimental for the disposable water bottles that spring water is sold in. Mostly made of petroleum and chemicals, the heat can cause the plastic to leak into the water left in the bottle, so keeping those containers in an ice cooler is essential. Another alternative is to buy reusable drink bottles made of non petroleum products, and fill them with ice and water. You can even put the spring water from the disposable bottles in the reusable bottles and chill them in the ice coolers away from direct sunlight. Limiting the sugary drinks, such as koolaid or sodas if playing outside will keep away flying insects and ants.
Summer heat also has an effect on the skin. The sun has ultraviolet rays that are shorter than light and invisible to the human eye. Skin will absorb the ultraviolet rays to cause increased chance for skin cell changes. Sunbathing that was a favorite activity in my youth is no longer a priority in my personal summer agenda. Since I have learned about the health risks of prolonged hours of sunbathing, I don't even think about doing that. My personal agenda doesn't change the whole beach combing population. So having skin protectants such as lotion containing the label SPF is essential. Checking with a dermatologist is the best way to choose what level SPF in sunscreen is for each individual. Every kind of skin no matter what amount of pigmentation one may have is subject to sunburn.
Have Your First Aid Kits Ready
With warm temperatures and longer hours, more work to beautify the outdoor world can be done. And children will find all kinds of aerobic fun to occupy themselves with. My favorite activities as a child were climbing trees, scaling the playground set, riding my bicycle, and swimming. I even got a chance to try a neighbor's trampoline which was built into the ground once. My favorite sports outside were badminton, volleyball, basketball and miniature golf. Daddy even took me to the driving range to tee off golfballs with him, and he tried to teach me tennis. I even decided to take up jogging, but found that this activity was not as enjoyable than the others.
I was grateful for my parents who did all they could to make me feel better when I fell off my bike or strained my back from tennis. The first aid kit was always ready when I came in. First aid kits should be equipped with hydrogen peroxide, cotton balls, all sizes of bandaids, antibiotic ointment, calamine lotion, disposable ice pack ( the kind you bend and squeeze to activate the cold, ace wrap, paper tape and gauze pads. Being prepared for insect bites is helpful. Bee sting kits are usually available to purchase. But I do have a memory of an interesting remedy. I can recall going to first aid at our local swimming pool, and applied to my bee sting was toothpaste which took away the pain and itch.
Mosquitoes Love The Heat and Moisture
It is not even the first day of June yet and I have two mosquito bites. The best way I can suggest to keep the mosquito from biting is to apply a skin protectant such as Skin So Soft Products or products that contain picaridin. Here is another reason to check with your physician or a dermatologist, especially with young children involved. A baby stroller can be covered with a mesh net that is designed for its purpose. For the young and adults who enjoy sleeping outdoors, mesh nets for the purpose of keeping the mosquitoes away is a good suggestion.
Always contact a health professional if the bug bite gets raised, the area around it gets swollen, or if a respiratory difficulty should occur, emergency 911 is of great importance.
Having Fun On Vacation
Time to go to the beach? Get your itineraries ready, parents. Be ready for all kinds of weather. Planning is essential when packing. Depending on the region you go, be firm with the children with what to bring. Unless you have a minivan with unlimited space, teaching the children to pack conservatively is practical. Listening to the weather reports and looking at the satellite maps to track storms really is great to do when traveling.
Calculating gas mileage is helpful if the planned route is familiar. With rising costs of gas, informing the children that choices of activities being tracked on a map is a good suggestion. Keep them interested by showing them how to read maps. Contacting the travel agencies to supply pamphlets and brochures for your children. This will teach them to appreciate the places you plan on visiting. Another way to teach the children to budget the cost is to get them to help plan the meals on the trip. Eat in or carry out? Restaurant or picnic? The choices are immense, yet tourist attractions will always lure vacationers in with the sights, and sounds and smells that empty out the wallets and run up the credit card limits.
Continued Learning In Summertime
My Mom and Dad made sure we always went to the library at least twice in the summer. My brothers and I always had something to read even in the summer. I thank God that I never had to attend summer school. And then when I got to college level, and found that there were classes that I could attend that were related to my field of study, I was willing to go. My Dad even encouraged me to brush up on my test taking skills during the summertime, such as signing me up for courses for at home study. I think I fell in love with Math this way. I never went far in my Math levels in school, but I appreciated what I could learn. As I got older, I fell in love with crosswords, word search and all kinds of number puzzles. And I continued my music lessons even in the summer. So I was always learning, and growing. By the time I reached high school, I started my creative writing and even teaching others how to play the guitar.
Every family situation is different. What each parent influences their children to do with their free time is unique, depending on each household's condition. I can not suggest any ways to enhance others in a learning environment during the summer months.But showing love and interest in the child will encourage a learning environment.
May You Have A Safe Summer
So many changes in the environment is going on. The population continues to grow. The traffic on the roads and highways is heavier. The weather is changing (greater damage from tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes have occurred). I believe that so many people are in more of a hurry, and the general economic changes have effected the way that society has moved. In the midst of planning your summer fun, and keeping your children occupied, and in spite of all we do to keep our outdoor environment safe, keep the ears and eyes open, and be aware of the current events of your area and region. Keep your faith real, and trust and believe in the Creator of this planet that is our home.
(source of information about disposable plastic bottles,ultraviolet rays, insect repellents and sunscreens from wikipedia.com.)
The Best Summer song ever!
Summer Heat is Rough for the Elderly and Little Babies
During the harsh summer weather when the temperature becomes unbearable, I find that the youngest and the oldest have their trials. It is best to speak to the pediatrician about how to provide the proper nutrition for the newborn when in the summer. Those without central air conditioning and those who want to take their infant on vacation should be aware that proper chilling of baby formula is important to prevent spoilage. And keeping the baby's skin covered with soft light blankets and protecting the head from direct sunlight is important. There are baby products for this, such as baby tents to go over strollers, and clothing that will provide the proper coverage. Baby lotions with sunscreen are available for the growing child who is already mobile and exposed due to activity level. And I can not stress enough, to hydrate your young babies and children with water. The sugary drinks can lead to health risks such as tooth decay and cavities as well as unnecessary weight gain and even diarrhea. And keep the snacks and meals for the young children nutritious and light.
For the elderly, sunscreen and big hats are always beneficial to the aging skin. Make sure to provide your elders plenty of water to drink. Dehydration is a major risk to an aged person. Check with the physician if you are concerned with respiratory issues with the aging person. If the weather person on the news says the air quality is "Code Orange", it is best if the elderly stay inside. Polution and other chemicals become stagnant in the air during the hottest days of the season, and can have an affect on the compromised lungs of an older person. Also certain medications that an older person takes can make them more sensitive with the summer sun. So check with the physician in regards to what to look for.
Don't Forget Your Pets!
Just like us, dogs and cats need water, shade and proper nutrition in the summer time. The most unfortunate thing I have ever seen is a pet left outside for long hours in the heat without water to drink and without proper shade to sit under. Without us, our domesticated friends have a tough situation to deal with. If a person knows that they will be able to provide attention to their beloved dog or cat, let us hope that that one will ask a neighbor or a friend to look after their pet. Cats and dogs need plenty of water to drink and proper nutrition. Let us hope that our neighbors will also have a pet sitting service or even take their pet to the kennel while on vacation. The animal does not know how to defend themselves from even insects, or injury while outside. Like a helpless child, their health depends on their masters.
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