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News letter

  1. 1. Heres to a fun and safe summer!Beat the HeatSummer heat can be more than uncomfortable—it can be a threat to your health. Hot weather can be especiallydangerous for young children and older adults. Don’t let the summer heat get the best of you. Try these tips to stay cooland safe: Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. This is one of the most important things you can do to beat the heat. Thirst means that your body is becoming dehydrated, so don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Don’t forget that you can get fluids through some foods, such as cold summer soups, fruits and even vegetables. Older adults or people with health conditions should talk with their doctors about the correct amount of fluid intake for them. Stay indoors. If possible, do errands and outdoor chores early or late in the day. Dress for the weather. Wear light layers of natural fabrics such as cotton. When outdoors, wear a light-colored hat that will let air circulate to keep your head cool. Eat light. You may feel better avoiding heavy or hot meals and eating several nutritious snacks throughout the day instead of full meals. Think cool. Take cool showers and visit your local mall or library to enjoy the air conditioning.At times, the summer heat can hit harder than expected. You may feel more than just uncomfortable—you can becomesick. Watch for these warning signs:Heat exhaustion is a heat-related disorder often associated with not drinking enough fluids.Heat Exhaustion Symptoms can include: Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting Body temperature may be high but not above 104° F Pale, cool, moist skin Feeling of thirst Muscle crampsTreatment: Move to a cool area and drink plenty of fluids such as water or sports drinks. Remove excessive clothing. Ifsymptoms persist, are marked, or you have underlying medical problems, see your doctor immediately or seekemergency medical care.Heatstroke is a life-threatening heat-related illness.Heat Stroke Symptoms can include: Dry, hot, red skin Sweating has stopped Fever No longer aware of thirst or heatArticles on health and wellness, as well as those on UnitedHealthcare programs and services, areprovided by and copyrighted by UnitedHealthcare. They may not be alerted or reprinted without 6-1-11 Page: 1permission. All other information is provided by your employer.
  2. 2. Irritability or confusion Seizures or loss of consciousnessTreatment: Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Seek emergency medical help immediately! Meanwhile, move theperson to a shaded area. Cool the person’s body by removing excessive clothing and placing cold, wet cloths on the skin.Have the person lie down and slightly elevate the feet.Dont Get Burned! How to Protect Your Body From SunDamageSunburn doesnt just cause pain and redness. It can also have immediatedangers and long-term effects. Learn the risks and find out how to protectyourself.Between the beach, the pool and the weekend cookouts, you may be having too much fun to worry about sunburn - untilthat telltale stinging and redness set in. Sunburn isnt just painful - its also bad for your health.The dangers of sunburnThe suns rays contain two types of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet A (UVA) causes tanning, aging skin and wrinkles.Ultraviolet B (UVB) causes sunburn. Both can cause skin cancer. You can burn on sunny days, cloudy days and colddays. The white sand on the beach and the white snow of winter both reflect the suns rays. You can burn whether youreskiing on water or snow.Signs of sunburn are redness and pain. You may also have swelling and blistering. Get medical attention right away if youhave a severe burn that covers your body, or if you have chills, vomiting, an upset stomach or confusion.Long-term effectsEvery time you tan or burn, DNA damage builds up in the deeper levels of your skin. Having five or more burns over alifetime - even in childhood - doubles your chances of getting skin cancer.Other side effects of tanning and burning include premature wrinkles and age (pigment) spots. Over time the sun can ageyour skin, making it tough and leathery.Remember that your eyes can burn, too. Too much sun can burn your corneas and lead to various eye diseases,including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It can even cause blindness.The truth about sunscreenWearing sunscreen doesnt always keep you from burning. No sunscreen can completely protect you from UV rays.A sunscreen labeled "waterproof" or "water resistant" will not protect you all day. When you swim or sweat, reapply yoursunscreen. Waterproof sunscreens last about 80 minutes in the water. Those labeled "water resistant" last about 40minutes.The UV indexYour local news may broadcast daily heat index reports. The higher the index, the less time it will take to burn. Here isArticles on health and wellness, as well as those on UnitedHealthcare programs and services, areprovided by and copyrighted by UnitedHealthcare. They may not be alerted or reprinted without 6-1-11 Page: 2permission. All other information is provided by your employer.
  3. 3. your risk for overexposure to the damaging UV rays. The number indicates the daily UV index, followed by the degree ofrisk. The higher the index on a given day, the greater the need to protect yourself. 0-2: low 3-4: moderate 5-6: high 7-10: very high 11+: extremePreventing sunburnFollow these prevention tips: Use only water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen. It should protect against both UVA and UVB rays and have an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing when possible. Always include a hat and sunglasses. Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are strongest. If your shadow is shorter than you are, get out of the sun. Keep children in the shade and in protective clothing. If shade or protective clothing are not available, apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 to small areas like the cheeks and backs of the hands. If a child under age 1 gets sunburn, apply cool compresses and call your pediatrician right away. Also call if an older child has a sunburn with fever, blistering, severe pain or lethargy. Be aware that water, snow and sand all reflect UV rays and increase your chances for sunburn.TreatmentCool wet compresses, lotions and baths may help relieve sunburn pain. For serious burns, call your doctor. Medicationmay prevent infection and help with the swelling and pain.How to Do a Self-Exam for Skin CancerWondering how to do a skin self-exam? Then follow the advice from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD): Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then right and left sides with arms raised. Bend your elbows and look carefully at your forearms, upper underarms and palms. Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes and the soles of your feet. Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part your hair for a closer look. Finally, check your back and buttocks with a hand mirror.To perform this exam properly, you need a well-lit room with both a full-length mirror and a hand-held one.If you find moles or colored spots on your skin, use the "ABCD" rules. Look for: Asymmetry -- one half is unlike the other half. Border irregular -- scalloped or poorly circumscribed border. Color that varies from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black or sometimes white, red or blue. Diameter larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.If you find skin changes that match this description or a mole that change, itches or bleeds, consult your doctor ordermatologist.This exam should be completed once a month by those at high risk for skin cancer and once every six months for thoseArticles on health and wellness, as well as those on UnitedHealthcare programs and services, areprovided by and copyrighted by UnitedHealthcare. They may not be alerted or reprinted without 6-1-11 Page: 3permission. All other information is provided by your employer.
  4. 4. with a low risk.Savvy Sunscreen BasicsTo protect yourself from the sun, follow these simple dos and donts: Do use a sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and apply it at least 30 minutes before sun exposure so a protective layer can bind to your skin. Do re-apply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors. Do re-apply water-resistant sunscreen every 40 minutes when in the water or perspiring a lot, and re-apply waterproof sunscreen every 90 minutes. Do use sunscreen even on cloudy days. Do avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the rays are strongest. Do make sure that you use a sunscreen that is best for your type of skin. If your skin is dry, use a cream or lotion sunscreen. For oily or acne-prone skin, use an alcohol or gel-based sunscreen. Avoid using alcohol-based sunscreens if you have sensitive skin. Dont forget to apply sunscreen on those often forgotten areas; the backs of your hands, behind your knees, your nose, tops of the feet and the ears. Apply sunscreen in front of a mirror before getting dressed to avoid missing any spots. Dont apply sunscreen on children younger than 6 months.Taking antioxidant vitamins before sun exposure may add additional protection. Also, using an under layer of lotion orcream with antioxidants such as vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid, also known as thioctic acid, may be an added benefit tosunscreen alone.Dont worry if you are just now beginning a diligent campaign against the evils of sun exposure. The good news is thatrecent studies show daily use of sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 can help your skin begin to repair itself from priorsun damage.Articles on health and wellness, as well as those on UnitedHealthcare programs and services, areprovided by and copyrighted by UnitedHealthcare. They may not be alerted or reprinted without 6-1-11 Page: 4permission. All other information is provided by your employer.