Survival summer guide

By Staff
Heat stroke
This summer's inevitable heat waves can be more than just uncomfortable. They can result in life-threatening illness – especially for young children and senior citizens, who are particularly vulnerable to extremes in temperature. In addition, certain types of medications – especially heart and psychiatric prescriptions – can alter the body's internal thermostat, making it harder to maintain a healthy body temperature.
The following tips can help you keep your cool and beat the heat this summer:
Summer stains
Summer is a time for fun in the sun – not for being inside fretting over laundry.
For older stains, sponge area with one tablespoon white vinegar and 1/2 cup water. Wash shirts with a bleach-free detergent, in the hottest water safe for fabric.
For more stain solutions, check out www.TheFabricofOurLives.com.
Pool Safety
Parents should follow these basic rules to prevent a child from drowning:
1. Never leave a child unattended or with a young sibling in a swimming pool, wading pool, bathtub or hot tub. Even a minute away can lead to an avoidable tragedy.
2. Pools should be fenced and gated with self-locking gates.
3. Always secure the safety cover on your spa or hot tub.
4. Be sure all containers with liquids are emptied immediately after use. Do not leave empty containers in yards or around the house where they may accumulate water and attract young children.
5. Adults and teenagers age 14 and older who supervise children should know CPR. Studies have demonstrated that nearly drowned children given quick CPR suffered no brain damage, while children not receiving such immediate treatment sustained brain damage or death.
6. Children should be given swimming lessons but should not be considered water-safe until they are 14 years old.
7. Keep small children out of bathrooms unless supervised by an adult or older child.
8. Older children and even adults should not swim alone in the ocean or fast-moving rivers.
9. Children should wear bright-colored flotation devices when boating.
10. Don't mix alcohol, children and being around water.
Bug bites
Itchy, red swollen bumps on the skin are an all-too-familiar summer sign that bugs – and bug bites – are flourishing.
That annoying itch may be a good sign, however.
"Itchy is normal. Tender is not," when it comes to bug bites, said Dr. Robin Carder, assistant professor of dermatology and pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Tenderness, she cautioned, may be a sign the bug bite is becoming infected and deserves more medical attention.
"It is normal for a bug bite to be a little red or swollen, and it may even blister," Dr. Carder said. "But the lesion should be more itchy than sore. If it becomes tender, that may be a sign of infection."
Common insect bites such as mosquitoes and chiggers are relatively easy to treat with over-the-counter remedies.
"Antihistamines like Benadryl (either the oral or the topical form) can be very effective in relieving the itch and decreasing the swelling, or hive-like response," Dr. Carder said. Topical steroids, such as hydrocortisone, also work well. Both can be found in touch sticks that can make it easier to target the affected area.
It's especially hard to keep children from infecting itchy bites with their repeated scratching, but Ken Haller, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, has a suggestion: Dab a bit of roll-on antiperspirant directly on the bug bite, and the itching will stop.
"The aluminum salts in the antiperspirant help the body to reabsorb the fluid in the bug bite," Dr. Haller said. "The swelling goes down and the itching goes away."

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