Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hot Burns in the Summer Sun

     Summer is heating up, and so can your skin. Picture an intoxicated adult backing into a burning metal fire pit, a youngster wielding a flaming marshmallow, a teenager sunning at the pool for too many hours—the season is ripe for summertime skin burns.

     Burns come in degrees: first, second, third, and fourth. With a first-degree burn, the skin is red and you’ll notice some pain and swelling at the burn site. When the first and second layers of the skin (dermis) are burned, causing blistering, redness and swelling, it’s classified as a second-degree burn. Third-degree burns are very serious—potentially affecting all layers of the skin. A fourth-degree burn goes deep as the fat, muscle, and even bone. You’ll see white, leathery, blackened, or charred skin. The skin may be numb to the touch because of nerve damage.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Stay Alive! Don't Text and Drive Update

     Did you know distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens? That is a dreadfully scary thought, especially when you realize that distracted driving-related accidents are 100% preventable. I have a hard time imagining anything worse than losing someone you love in an accident, but knowing that the accident could have been prevented would be more frustrating. Distracted driving, including texting while driving, is a major problem in our society, especially with our younger population.

     Did you know they have toys for toddlers that look and sound like cell phones? Our teenagers have literally had a cell phone in their hands since about the same time they were learning how to walk.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How to Protect Yourself from the Summer Sun

     As a young man, my dad spent as much time as possible playing basketball, football, tennis, golf, and any number of outdoor activities whenever he got the opportunity. Where my fair-skinned, red-headed, Irish dad went wrong was that he never wore sunscreen. Now, many years later, he has to visit the dermatologist every few months to check for skin cancer.

     In the 1960s when my dad was growing up, the dangers of sun exposure were not nearly as well known as they are today. That is why it is so alarming to see that today’s society places so much of an emphasis on tan skin. From young girls who use tanning beds to achieve that “golden” look before prom, to the “stars” of the reality show Jersey Shore who are famous for their daily regimen of GTL or gym, tan, laundry, to the recent story about the mom who allegedly took her six-year-old daughter to a tanning salon, the pressure to have perfectly bronzed skin is everywhere in pop culture.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aging Gracefully–with a Side of Independence, please!

The idea of getting older is scary. When you are a teenager, you worry about where you will go to college. When you graduate college, you worry about getting a job. When you get a job, you begin to worry about home ownership, children, and aging parents. Eventually, all of us have to start considering the consequences of advanced age. Whether it is your parents or yourself that you are thinking of, there is no better time than now to consider the many elderly care services that are available.

Elderly care services are designed to help seniors live a full and meaningful life even if they have lost some of their independence. Below you will find brief descriptions of three options that are available: 

Assistance with moving between
levels of a house is one way at-home
products can help keep you in your home.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heartburn on a Checkered Tablecloth

     Who doesn’t like summer? The warm weather, beach vacations, cookouts, and acid reflux. Wait—acid reflux? If you suffer from occasional heartburn or acid reflux, picnic tables chock-full of fried chicken, hamburgers, and chocolate pie could be a digestive nightmare.

     That chocolate pie with mint garnish may relax a part of your esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach) and let acid flow upward. Fatty foods like fried chicken and rib eye steak put pressure on the esophageal sphincter (mouth-like muscle), making heartburn a sure thing. And that gin and tonic? Don’t even think about it. Alcohol increases stomach acid.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Celebrating Emergency Medical Service Professionals

     Imagine for a minute that you have been involved in a car accident, have had a fall, your young child has fallen into a pool, or your house has caught on fire. These are all terrifying events that could happen at any time.

     Now imagine the feeling of relief that you would have when you see Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals arrive on the scene. These brave men and women bring along with them comfort, safety, hope, and the knowledge that the trauma is over and the healing can begin.

So why did I ask you to imagine such a scary situation? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spotlight on the Meritus Medical Center Auxiliary

     Scientific evidence suggests that positive emotions can help us live longer and stay healthier. One documented path to happiness is doing good for others. For 60 years, nearly 400 Meritus Health Auxilians have taken the “volunteer” path to happiness. During their journey, our volunteers have raised $4 million for Meritus Medical Center and its programs, and devoted 3.2 million hours of service. “These people have found out they have a lot to give—and are making a difference in peoples’ lives,” Mitch Towe, director of volunteer services explained.

Monday, May 7, 2012

How to Pick Produce at the Farmer’s Market

    The weather may still be making up its mind, but the fact is, it’s May and farmer’s markets are starting to pop up, including the one held in the Robinwood Professional Center Atrium every Tuesday afternoon from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm! Do you know how to pick the best, freshest produce? Check out this clip from our TV show, Your Health Matters, where Chef Joseph Fleischman, executive chef and food production manager at Meritus Medical Center, shows you how!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Savvy Traveler

     There’s nothing more exciting than a trip outside the United States. The passport, the travel guides, the coordinated wardrobe of no-wrinkle pants and shirts. However, from a scooter accident in Milan to developing travelers’ diarrhea in Belize, venturing into foreign soil has its risks.

     Between stopping your mail and arranging a pet-sitter, here’s what you need to do to prep for your adventures abroad.