Heat Stroke - Something you Should Sweat

Monday, July 23, 2012 4:51 PM comments (0)

Heat StrokeA day of fun in the sun can lead serious ailments if you’re not careful. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated and seek shade when you’re enjoying outdoor activities. Learn how to beat the heat this summer by learning the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

Rick Gimbel, MD, an emergency medicine physician, shares some of the facts and warning signs for identifying heat stroke:

  • Heat stroke is the most serious heat condition, and can often be avoided if other heat-related symptoms aren’t ignored.
  • As your core body temperature rises in the heat, various symptoms may arise. Commons signs of the onset of a heat illness include: thirst, excessive sweating, nausea, cramps, headaches, dizziness and fainting.

    If you experience any of these symptoms it is important to drink plenty of fluids (water is best), seek a cool place (either indoors or in the shade) and rest. It may also help to take a cold shower or to ice the body.
  • Prolonged exposure to humidity and the sun can head to heat stroke—an indication that the body temperature is above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. When not properly treated, heat stroke can be fatal. If you suspect you or someone you know may have heat stroke, immediate medical attention is required. Delaying treatment may lead to brain and organ damage or death.

Have you ever experienced heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke? When do you usually know you’ve had too much sun?

Burgers and Brats – Quick Grilling Safety Tips

Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:06 AM comments (0)

Grilling SafetyFire up the grill, it’s summertime! The warmer weather encourages people to wheel the grill out of the garage and more actively use the public grills available at parks. While picnics and grilling can be fun, it’s important to remember to be safe.

Jerry Leikin, MD, Medical Toxicologist at NorthShore, offers the following instructions for ensuring proper food preparation and grill safety:

  • Check the temperature. Most meats (including poultry, ground beef and pork) should be cooked to 160-165 degrees. Depending on how well done you like your steak, temperatures can vary. If it’s pink, chances are it isn’t completely done.
  • Exercise proper food handling to avoid contamination. Keep all food and surfaces clean. Don’t reuse plates or utensils that have been in contact with raw meats or meat juices.
  • Dress the part. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing that may be able to catch on fire quickly. It also might not be a bad idea to wear closed-toed shoes. If you’re worried about stains, then keep that grilling apron on.
  • Use your grill strictly outdoors. Grills should not be used indoors or in enclosed areas (including your garage), as they release carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases. Keeping your grill in the open air may also reduce the chances of unwanted fire.
  • Keep gas and other flammable materials away from the grill. These items should not be located near your grill at any time as they increase the risk of fire.
  • Watch your kids. Grills heat up fast and the last thing you want is for someone to get burned or hurt right before mealtime. Make sure you warn your kids about the dangers of a grill and don’t let them get too close.
  • Stay well hydrated. When the grill and temperatures are hot, you want to be sure you are getting enough fluids to avoid any sun-related illnesses.

What are some of your favorite foods to grill?

Summertime Swimming - Enjoy the Water, Not the Risks

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 9:03 AM comments (0)

Water-SafetySwimming, floating and splashing are all fun summer activities to do in the water when the sun is out and the temperatures are high. Whether you’re at the pool or the beach, it’s important to be mindful of water safety.

Jacque Quick, Trauma Nurse at Evanston Hospital, provides the following quick tips for water safety:

  • Teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  • Never swim alone. This applies to both children and adults.
  • Only dive in designated areas. Diving into shallow water may result in serious head or neck injury.
  • Actively supervise children around water at all times, even if a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Have a phone nearby to call for help in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid currents by swimming in designated areas. If you are swept away by currents, try to remain calm and swim parallel to the shoreline until you are no longer being pulled by the current.
  • Wear a life jacket. Life jackets are a requirement for boaters or passengers under 13 years of age.
  • Utilize flotation devices, if desired. Floatation devices such as arms bands or tubes can also be helpful to a swimmer, but are not considered life saving equipment.
  • Avoid swallowing water (both at the pool and beach).
  • Encourage children and adults to take swim lessons in order to be comfortable in the water.
  • Empty all buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside-down and out of children’s reach.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Learn CPR.

What are some of your favorite water activities? What safety tips do you swear by?

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