Celebrate Smart
this 4th of July

When you think of the 4th of July, you
probably think fireworks. We all love...

read more

Beat the Heat:
Stay Hydrated!

Whatever your summer plans may
be, one thing is certain: If you plan to...

read more

Keep Your Kids Sun Safe

Living in Northern California, we
are fortunate enough to have a
summer filled with sunny, hot days...

read more

Celebrate Smart this 4th of July

When you think of the 4th of July, you probably think fireworks. We all love the colors and patterns and pops of fireworks. Unfortunately this time-honored Independence Day tradition brings with it many dangers.

During the four weeks around Independence Day, an average of 200 people every day will go Emergency Rooms around the country with fireworks-related injuries. And while you may worry about keeping your kids safe around fireworks, the majority of those injuries occur to men between the ages of 25 and 45. Below are some important safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for people of all ages to keep in mind as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July.

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.

  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities - even if you are only using sparklers. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.

  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.

  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.

  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.

  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

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Keep Your Kids Sun Safe

Living in Northern California, we are fortunate enough to have a summer filled with sunny, hot days. But with our glorious weather comes a serious responsibility - protecting our kids from the sun's unhealthy side effects. Did you know that just a few serious sunburns in childhood can increase your child's risk for skin cancer later in life? Taking the time now to protect your child's skin will not only prevent the misery that comes with sunburn, but it could also protect them as adults. Here are a few sun safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  • Seek shade. UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, so it's best to plan indoor activities then. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, an umbrella, or a pop-up tent. Use these options to prevent sunburn, not to seek relief after it's happened.

  • Cover up. Clothing that covers your child's skin helps protect against UV rays. Although a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best, they aren't always practical. A T-shirt, long shorts, or a beach cover-up are good choices, too - but it's wise to double up on protection by applying sunscreen or keeping your child in the shade when possible.

  • Get a hat. Hats that shade the face, scalp, ears, and neck are easy to use and give great protection. Baseball caps are popular among kids, but they don't protect their ears and neck. If your child chooses a cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.

  • Wear sunglasses. They protect your child's eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.

  • Apply sunscreen. Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time your child goes outside. For the best protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Don't forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and the tops of feet.

  • Reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen wears off throughout the day, especially after your child swims or exercises. This applies to waterproof and water-resistant products as well.

  • Protect baby. Follow the directions on the package for using a sunscreen product on babies less than 6 months old. All products do not have the same ingredients; if your or your child's skin reacts badly to one product, try another one or call a doctor. Your baby's best defense against sunburn is avoiding the sun or staying in the shade.

  • Know the limits of sunscreen. Keep in mind, sunscreen is not meant to allow kids to spend more time in the sun than they would otherwise. Try combining sunscreen with other options to prevent UV damage.

If your skin needs a little extra help, visit the Mercy Medical Group Plastic Surgery Center.

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Beat the Heat: Stay Hydrated!

Whatever your summer plans may be, one thing is certain: If you plan to spend any amount of time outdoors in our extreme California heat, hydration needs to be a priority for you. Staying hydrated by consuming enough water can mean the difference between having a fun day in the sun or suffering heat stroke. Water carries heat away from your internal organs before serious heat damage can occur - thereby preventing heat stroke. Whatever your summer plans may be, don't forget to focus on your fluid intake - listen to your body and stay hydrated! Here are some tips to help.

  • Don't wait to feel thirsty! Prevent thirst by drinking enough water.

  • An easy way to monitor fluid loss is by checking the color of your urine. If it is dark, smelly or cloudy you are not taking in enough fluid.

  • Be sure to hydrate prior to exercising. Monitor your fluid intake the day before and the day of to ensure you are well hydrated prior to exercising.

  • If you are exercising for less than an hour or simply hanging out outdoors, then water is your best option.

  • If you are exercising for more than an hour, supplement your water intake with a sports drink to replace electrolytes.

  • Know that alcohol is counterproductive. It is dehydrating and should be avoided the day before and the day of intense outdoor exercise.

  • To determine your individualized need for fluid replacement: During heavy exercise, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. If you see an immediate loss of weight, you've lost valuable water. Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water (or sports drink) you'll need to drink before and during your next exercise session to prevent weight/water loss in the future.

Dignity Health wants you to stay hydrated while you are out having fun this summer! Mercy Hospital of Folsom is providing water to attendees of the free concert series at the Palladio at Broadstone in Folsom, every Wednesday through August from 7-9pm. Have fun - and stay hydrated!

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