News From Our Blog

Summer Safety Tips

With warm weather comes more opportunities to explore new places, spend time outdoors and share quality time with friends and family.

Swimming, walking or having a picnic are just some of the many things you can do together during the Summer.

To enjoy these activities safely and accident-free, make sure to keep these tips in mind:

Water safety

  • Supervise your kids, as well as other children, when playing or swimming in the ocean, lakes, rivers or pools.
  • Only use life jackets certified by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Avoid swimming in rough or deep water.
  • Respect “No Swimming” signs.
  • To prevent choking, make sure children do not eat or chew gum in the water.
  • If your home has a swimming pool, install a protective fence around it. Be sure to place a cover on the pool when it’s not in use.
  • Take cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes to help people who are drowning or choking.

Protection against sun and heat

  • To avoid dehydration or heat exhaustion, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or too much sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Also wear sunglasses and a hat that covers your face and ears.
  • Apply sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher a half an hour before any sun exposure. Reapply several times a day, or according to the product directions.
  • Keep your lips hydrated with a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure when ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Try to spend the majority of your time protected by cool, shady areas.

Food safety

  • If you’re camping or you plan to do any outdoor cooking, use a cooler with ice to keep your food refrigerated. Make sure to keep the cooling temperature (PDF) at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food.
  • To avoid cross contamination, separate raw meat from other food, and place meat on its own plate or tray.
  • Make sure meats are cooked and served at an internal temperature (PDF) of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Immediately refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Don’t leave perishable foods out in the open for more than two hours.
  • To avoid getting food poisoning, follow these tips for eating safely at fairs and festivals.

For more information about food safety contact the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854.

Read this note in Spanish.

If ovarian cancer is found early on, it can be treated more effectively. Learn to recognize the symptoms:

Image description:
From Stopbullying.gov:

Labels can hurt. Take a stand against labeling others by sharing this video with your friends. Reblog and spread the word that labels don’t define you.

Image description:

From Stopbullying.gov:

Labels can hurt. Take a stand against labeling others by sharing this video with your friends. Reblog and spread the word that labels don’t define you.

How to Treat Pollen Allergies in the Summer

Pollen is the main trigger of allergies in the summer. Pollen allergies can cause sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing and itchiness in the nose, eyes and throat.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, about 35 million Americans suffer from pollen allergy, commonly known as hay fever.

Follow these tips to prevent or treat this type of allergies.

Allergy prevention

  • Limit your outdoor activities in the mornings, a time when pollen levels are at their highest.
  • Take a shower and change clothes at home if you were outdoors. This will help clear out any pollen left on your hair, body and clothing.
  • Avoid hanging your clothes to dry outdoors.
  • Keep your home and car windows closed on sunny, windy days. If possible, use air conditioning.
  • Avoid mowing the lawn or sweeping the deck or patio too often.

Allergy medicine

Certain medicines may help alleviate symptoms of allergies or allergic rhinitis. Talk to your doctor about the right allergy medications for you. 

Some common allergy medications include:

  • Nasal and oral decongestants
  • Antihistamines in pill, syrup, or drop form
  • Nasal sprays, with or without corticosteroid

Allergy tests

If your symptoms are too difficult to manage with medication, your doctor can perform a skin allergy test to get a more accurate diagnosis. Based on the results, the doctor will prescribe the proper course of treatment.

Read this note in Spanish.

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and ends on November 30.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, more than 35 million people live in areas that can be affected by hurricanes.

The strong winds, heavy rains and flooding that go along with hurricanes can cause serious damage to property and endanger lives. Being informed about what to do before, during and after a hurricane can help you and your family stay safe and prevent property damage.

Before and during the storm

  • Be aware of any emergency alert signals issued by authorities
  • Get to know the evacuation routes and emergency procedures of the places you and your family frequent, such as school or your office building
  • Identify the most secure places in your home, which can be a room with few windows, a hallway or a basement
  • Find evacuation and emergency shelters for your neighborhood
  • Put together an emergency supply kit
  • Use shutters to cover your house’s windows
  • Make sure blinds and windows are closed

In case of an evacuation

  • Tune your radio to NOAA’s National Weather Service to know what to do and where to go
  • If you are away from your family, make a plan where to meet once the hurricane passes
  • Shut windows and doors and unplug any electrical appliances before leaving the house
  • Pack a bag with clothes, medicine, important documents, cash and your emergency kit
  • Drive only on roads that have been approved by officials and avoid taking shortcuts that could be hazardous

Returning home

  • Return home only when authorities say the danger has passed
  • Don’t walk or drive in flooded areas or unstable structures, such as bridges or alternate routes
  • Check the area outside your house before going in, as there could be loose power lines or other dangerous objects that aren’t immediately visible
  • Do not go inside if you smell gas or if there are signs of any flooding or fire as the home’s structure may be weakened
  • Take photos of any damaged areas to use when filing a claim with your insurance company

Resources

Read this note in Spanish.