Health and wellness tips for your work and life —
presented by Stark Associates Insurance Agency
Prevent Heat Illness
There were 7,415 heat-related deaths in the United States from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These preventable deaths illustrate how important preparation is during extreme temperatures. Whether you are swimming at the beach or lounging in the park, you should be prepared for extreme heat conditions.
The CDC provides three easy steps to prevent heat-related illnesses: stay cool, stay hydrated and stay informed. This summer, make sure you have shade wherever you are going and have attire, like a sun hat or a thin, long-sleeved shirt, to avoid direct contact with the sun. Be sure to drink lots of water—more than you usually do. Your body quickly loses fluids in the summer more quickly, which can lead to illness. Finally, stay informed by monitoring the local weather forecast and prepare accordingly for outdoor activities.
Know the Signs
The two most dangerous heat-related illnesses, besides dehydration, are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion is exhibited through cold, clammy skin, heavy sweating and nausea. If you or someone shows these symptoms, move to a cooler location and sip water. If you or someone has a rapid pulse, hot and red skin, and loses consciousness, this could mean heat stroke, and you should call 911 immediately. In this latter scenario, do not give fluids to the person showing the symptoms. Do, however, move them to a cooler location and lower their temperature with cool cloths.
Have a Responsible Summer
This Aug. 18 to Sept. 4, law enforcement will be stepping up their “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This means police officers will be focused on spotting impaired drivers and pulling them over.
There were nearly 10,000 people killed in alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes in 2014, according to the CDC. This accounts for nearly 33 percent of all traffic-related deaths in the United States. Keep this sobering statistic in mind when attending gatherings with alcohol, like barbecues, beach parties or work events.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created a smartphone app to help drivers who cannot safely drive home. The app can help tell you where you are, help you call a taxi or help you call a friend. Other useful apps include Uber and Lyft, as both can get you home if it’s not safe for you to drive.
For more information on the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit the NHTSA website.
Hepatitis C Rates Triple
The number of new hepatitis C infections has reached a 15-year high, tripling over the last five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
New virus infections are increasing among young people ages 20 to 29. This is primarily due to more people using injection drugs, according to the CDC.
However, three-quarters of individuals living with hepatitis C are baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965). They are six times more likely to be infected and to die as a result of the virus.
Hepatitis C shows few symptoms and nearly half the people infected are not aware of it. The most common transmission method is injection drug usage, but other ways include being unintentionally exposed in a health facility or transmission from mother to child.
Symptoms are mild or sometimes nonexistent for years. Since hepatitis C primarily affects the liver, dark urine, yellow skin or abdominal pain could be signs of infection. Talk to your doctor about your hepatitis C risk and ask if you should be tested.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.
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