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News from the Giftz Clinic

I have recently found information on the National Institute of Health (NIH) that addresses “Your Healthiest Self:  Wellness Toolkits.” I will be sharing the toolkit in our newsletter.  This month is addressing, “Your Surroundings.”

There are many environmental agents that can affect your health at home, school or work. Here are some tips to make your environment safer:

Make your home healthier:

Take a look around your home.  Do you know what is in your household products? Some chemicals can harm your health if too much gets into your body. Becoming aware of potentially harmful substances and clearing them out can help keep you and your family healthy.

To reduce toxic substances in your home:

  • Clean with non-toxic products
  • Dust with a damp rag.
  • Use a wet mop on floor
  • Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Open a window or use a fan to improve air circulation when you are cleaning
  • Have a good ventilation system
  • Wash your hands and your children’s hands often.

Reduce your allergens:

Blooming flowers or fallen leaves can provide airborne allergens that can irritate your nose and eyes.  These symptoms may be a response to the allergens in the air. Take steps to reduce the exposure to allergens.

To reduce allergies:

  • Avoid the outdoors when you’re having allergies
  • Wash bedding once a week
  • Vacuum floors once a week
  • Talk to your provider about medication that may be beneficial for allergies

Stay safe during hot weather:

Heat is a big danger in the summer months.  Too much heat for too long a period can be dangerous.  Warmer weather can also bring opportunities to improve health. 

To create healthy summer habits:

  • Beat the summer heat with early morning or evening activities
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Use Sunscreen
  • Use sunglasses
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated

Guard against cold weather:

Cold temperatures can pose threats to your health.  Know the signs of your body temperature dropping too low and steps to keep you and your family warm and safe.

To guard against the cold:

  • Dress in layers
  • Cover with blankets
  • Wear jackets that are rainproof and windproof

Air quality and your health:

The combination of high temperatures, wind, breezes and pollution can brew up an unhealthy mixture that is waiting to enter your lungs. These airborne particles can make it difficult to breathe and also can make one very tired when struggling to breathe.

To reduce the effects of poor air quality on your health:

  • Avoid outdoor activities in the afternoons with warmer days when air pollution may be at its highest.
  • Avoid strenuous activities if the air pollution quality is high

Test for toxic gases:

Radon gas typically moves up from the ground and into cracks in the floors, walls, and foundations. It can sometimes enter through well water.

To fight radon:

  • Start by testing your home. You can do it or hire a professional
  • Call the National Radon Hotline at 1-800-557-2366

Stay safe in the water:

Summer is a great time to go out and have fun in the water. Recreational waters such as lakes, pools, and oceans can get contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

Stay safer while playing in the water:

  • Shower before and after going into the swimming pool.
  • Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea or have had diarrhea in the past two weeks.
  • Try not to swallow water
  • Don’t swim or play near places where storm water is released on the beach
  • Always wash hands before you eat or drink

Source:  National Institute of Health: 2017

Lydia Pyle, Parish Nurse