Thursday, August 9, 2012

Summer Survival Tips

On the topic of Summer Survival, did an interview for All You magazine a few months ago.  Here are some of the topics we covered.  Who know, you might learn something!

What are some places on the body to check for ticks? Any surprising locations people should look? 

Ticks like warm, dark places. Check in your armpits, in and around your ears, inside your belly button, the back of the knees, under breasts or skin folds, around the waist, between the legs and around the genitals, and in and around any hair.

Do electrolyte solutions work better than water if you already have dehydration symptoms? If so, why? Do they repair the body faster in a dehydration crisis? How fast do they work?

For dehydration from exercist and heat, cool water is still the best. Taking salt tablets can lead to hypernatremia - too much salt in the body. In the case of dehydration from body fluid loss, vomiting and diarrhea, an electrolyte solution can be helpful, used according to package guidelines. Nonetheless, adults can usually do well with water alone.

Can wearing flip flops cause tendinitis since gripping your toes to keep the shoe on makes your muscles and tendons work overtime? How would you know you have tendinitis? Any signs?

The flat construction of flip flops provides no arch support, and walking in them can certainly lead to tendinitis. As the foot tries to grip and balance, unnatural stresses are put on the tendons of the foot, which can result in inflammation and pain. Localized pain in the foot, with standing or walking, would be signs of concern.

What’s the remedy for tendinitis? Ice and ibuprofen? Would it help to do stretching exercises after the pain is gone? Any recommendations for types of stretches? 

Certainly removing the source of the stress, the flip flops or whatever, first. Icing the area and using OTC anti-inflammatory medication, and rest would be first maneuvers.  Wearing well fitting shoes and gentle walking would be helpful as well.  Of course, should the pain persist, seeing professional care from your primary care provider, or a podiatrist or sports medicine specialist, would be appropriate.

Does water provide the perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to grow in backyard pools, even small wading pools for kids? Could this lead to crypto, giardia, E. Coli, etc? 

The first consideration for standing water is mosquitos.  Even a small puddle in a child's pool not totally drained can harbor these carriers of a variety of diseases.  Other bacteria from the environment can be in standing water, the one which might cause issues would be E. Coli, from fecal contamination, which can lead to GI diseases in exposed individuals.

Any prevention advice? Drain after use and wash the pool with soap (like dish detergent)? 

Sure, drain the water and let it dry out completely.  Eliminate areas of standing water around the house, such as the tops of grills, furniture, and the like.  Put a small hole on patio chairs seats at the low point to allow rainwater to drain out.  If you are worried, any disinfectant spray that is safe for the material can certainly be used.

Can lead paint on backyard patios be hazardous to children? 

Lead paint anywhere is hazardout to anyone.  But the hazard is with ingestion, such as when children eat chips of paint, which are said to taste sweet.  So if the paint is intact, not chipping, not coming off, the hazard is less serious.  You can use a paint which encapsulates the lead to prevent it leaching out, use plastic pads to cover the floor, wallpaper, carpet, or anything else to prevent contact.  Removing lead paint is NOT a do-it-yourself job, as the removal will generate lots of chips and dust, all of which is hazardous.  There are kits that you can use to test your paint for lead, and there are professional companies that specialize in its removal.

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