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It’s summer time and children are out of school, many folks are taking a vacation or planning one, and it’s probably hot outside! For hospitals and urgent care centers, however, this is a time of year to get ready. As people enjoy the outdoors and engage in more adventurous activities, the number of injuries and trauma incidents seen at hospitals double, compared to winter, according to Assist America. The most common causes of injuries during the summer include car accidents, severe sunburn, water-sports injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and falls.

While everyone should enjoy their summer to the fullest, you and your family can also stay safe and healthy by following these safety tips:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes to avoid dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, so avoid excessive consumption of them. As always, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, especially those that have a lot of water; examples include grapefruits, peaches, eggplants and spinach.
  • Avoid Sunburns: Apply sunscreen containing the appropriate level of SPF to avoid sunburn. You should also stay in the shade between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., if possible, as those are the peak hours for sunburns. If you are out then, cover your skin and wear a hat. Don’t forget to look out for children, too, by keeping them in the shade as much as possible.
  • Prevent Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke: Avoid participating in physical activities during the hottest hours of the day to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you are on vacation, slowly increase the amount of time you spend outside so that you can get acclimated to the hot weather. Continue to drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes.
  • Water Safety: Always be with someone else when engaging in water sports and follow the lifeguard’s instructions. Do not drink alcohol before participating in water activities. You should also take the time to get acclimated to the water temperature, since current snow melts are causing rivers, lakes and streams to be much colder.
  • Road Trip Safety: Make sure all maintenance on your car is done before departing on your trip, to minimize the risks of car accidents. Drive during off-peak hours, if possible, and allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Take frequent breaks – stop every 100 miles or two hours – while driving, and alternate drivers if possible.

 

 

Do you sometimes find that you’re not in the mood to go to the gym? Fortunately, there are other ways to get in a workout! For maintaining a healthy lifestyle, consider these alternatives:

  • Work out at home. Designate a room at home for exercising in, and decide on the best training time for you.
  • Use a stability exercise ball for quick and easy home workouts.
  • Go to a restaurant within walking distance when eating out. You’ll burn calories getting there and back!
  • Track your total walking mileage each day by wearing a pedometer. This can motivate you to become more active each succeeding week as you try to better last week’s number of steps.
  • Take walking breaks at work, or do some simple stretches if that’s all you have time for.
  • Incorporate walking into your daily commute.
  • Wash your car by hand – you’ll save money and burn calories!
  • Take dancing classes – ballroom, swing or other dancing classes are fun, social and great exercise!
  • Go hiking! Hikes are great exercise. If you can’t make it to a trail, a walk in a neighborhood park will do.
  • Play golf without driving a cart. Instead, walk the golf course and carry your clubs or use a pull cart.
  • Ride your bicycle – it’s great aerobic exercise and doesn’t put pressure on your joints. You can explore a nearby bike trail or your neighborhood.

 

Summer is prime time for outdoor cooking, such as around Independence Day, July 4th. Don’t let improperly prepared food ruin your summer event. Here is a bit of advice for this season’s outdoor eating—from picnics to dinner parties.

  • Always wash your hands before handling food. This helps prevent bacteria spread. If you don’t have access to a sink, use water from a jug and some soap to wash and paper towels to dry off. Moist disposable towelettes can also do the trick.
  • Keep cold food stored in waterproof containers and surrounded by ice. Maintain the temperature at 40 degrees or below. Pack your beverages and cold food in separate coolers so perishable food won’t be exposed to warm air every time someone pulls out a drink.
  • Use an insulated container to keep hot foods hot. Preheat a container by filling it with boiling water for several minutes and then emptying it prior to filling it with food, to help maintain food at temperatures of at least 140 degrees until it’s time to eat.
  • Food shouldn’t be left un-refrigerated for more than two hours—on a hot day that exceeds 90 degrees, no more than one hour. Letting food sit out on a hot day allows bacteria to grow.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood wrapped so they can’t contaminate cooked food and fruits and veggies. Bring extra utensils and dishware to keep from reusing those that have been in contact with raw meats. Otherwise, bacteria from the raw food will contaminate the freshly-cooked meal.
  • Refrain from marinating food at room temperature or outdoors. Bacteria multiplies when exposed to warmth.

The newly revamped Family Day at Safetyville, held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10 AM to 3 PM, is a free event designed to give families valuable information and access to community resources in the Sacramento area.  The event takes place in a unique miniature city that is designed to teach children safety skills.

Families attending will enjoy:

  • Over 50 booths with health, safety and recreational resources for families – including a booth for Western Health Advantage
  • Safety and health giveaways
  • Food and refreshments
  • Raffle tickets for great prizes
  • Safety demonstrations

Safetyville’s goal is to instill safety values in children through Safetyville USA and its unique interactive safety and health education programs. Safetyville consists of a unique 1/3 scale city, complete with sidewalks, crosswalks, stoplights and signs, an abandoned building (to demonstrate the dangers of playing in unregulated areas), police and fire stations, a dentist office, grocery store – and much more, to allow children to practice everyday safety skills, helping to lay the groundwork for lifelong safety and health.

For more information go to safetycenter.org.

 

Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

Did you know?

  • Men are less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than women, on average.
  • Men are more likely to go long periods of time without going to the doctor.
  • Men are less likely to adopt preventive health measures.
  • Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Stay Healthy
For your sake and your family’s sake, it’s important to take care of your health. That’s why you should schedule an annual wellness appointment with your doctor. Preventive care services such as annual wellness visits and immunizations are usually part of your medical plan at no additional cost to you. (Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of service.)

Why Wellness Visits are Important
Wellness visits help to identify any health issues before they become serious.

  • Prevention. Your doctor will provide preventive services such as immunizations that are recommended for your age group.  Your doctor will take this time to discuss and schedule health screenings that are recommended for your age group or your individual needs. Learn more about recommended health screenings
  • Raising concerns.You also can talk to your doctor about nutrition and other health concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about and bring your top three to five questions or concerns to your doctor at the start of the visit.
  • Team approach.Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships between you, your doctor and your doctor’s staff. Wellness visits are a way for your doctor to serve your individual needs and support your overall well-being.

By getting the right health services, screenings and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health, family history, lifestyle choices (e.g., what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other factors impact how often you need health care.

Take charge of your health—make an appointment today.

More info:
CDC
National Cancer Institute
Men’s Health Month

Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

Did you know?

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S.
  • Elder falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths among older adults.
  • One in three adults don’t get enough sleep.

Each week of National Safety Month focuses on a specific safety topic:

  • Week 1: Stand Up to Falls
  • Week 2: Recharge to Be in Charge (Focusing on Fatigue)
  • Week 3: Prepare for Active Shooters
  • Week 4: Don’t Just Sit There (Focusing on Ergonomics)

For example, here are some simple tips for driving awareness:

  • Don’t drive impaired – Always call a friend, taxi or car service such as Uber of Lyft.
  • Don’t text and drive – Kick the habit! Your full attention on the roads for potential hazards is most important. A text message can wait!
  • Hands-free device – We all like to stay connected, so if you must, use a hands-free device or feature when driving.

 

Visit the National Safety Council and select Act/Events for more information.

Join Western Health Advantage and an anticipated 13,000 attendees on Saturday, June 3rd for the Sacramento Pride Festival, an LGBT celebration that promotes acceptance and pride with a parade followed by an outdoor party on the Capitol Mall.

High-energy live music, a dance pavilion, an activity-rich kid’s zone, over 200 local vendors and exhibitors, and plenty of food trucks are just some of the many attractions at this daylong affair. There are also booths providing unique services, support and information throughout the event.

The festival costs $10 per person (children ten and under are free) and is located on Capitol Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets. The festival goes from 11am-5pm. A parade is free and starts at 11am.

The Sacramento Pride Parade and Festival is produced as a community engagement program of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. Net proceeds from the event help support LGBTQ health and wellness, advocacy, and community building programs year-round.

For more info, visit sacramentopride.org

 

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