Tag Archives: sunscreen


It’s the time of year that everyone is ready to get their boats back on the water and have fun fishing, skiing, or taking a relaxing ride on smooth water. Getting boats conditioned after a long winter’s rest is important to the success of the boat starting each time, and running as it should. Having owned a boat, there’s much more to it than just backing it into the water and taking off. The most important thing to have in your boat is a life jacket for each person.

This week’s reminder is sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council.  NSBC was organized in September, 1958, under the name National Safe Boating Committee. Their mission is to be the foremost coalition to advance and promote a safer recreational boating experience through education, outreach and training. The NSBC presently has a membership of over 330 U.S. and Canadian organizations, all with an interest in boating safety and education. The NSBC membership is diverse, with approximately 65% of the membership being nonprofit organizations and 35% being for-profit organizations. 

This year’s theme is “Ready, Set, Wear It,” referring to life jackets. By law, there should a life jacket for each passenger, as mentioned above. At times when you are fishing, and not moving, the jacket may be placed under the seats. But they must be ready for use at a moment’s notice. Wearing a life jacket can be slightly uncomfortable at some times, but even the strongest swimmer could have an accident, falling out of the boat, and possibly hitting their head. With no life jacket, their chances of surviving may be slim. 

When we had our boat, we made sure we had plenty of life jackets, even one for our Cairn Terrier, Willie. He had short little legs, and while we were fishing, he would go to the front of the boat and invariably slip and fall into the water. Our mode of rescue was a dip net, while his jacket kept him afloat. We didn’t want to take the chance that he might not be able to swim very far. 

On one particular outing, the local game warden pulled up to our boat to check our fishing license. He really got a kick out of seeing Willie in his life jacket; he said he hadn’t seen that very often. (This was several years ago, and jackets for dogs are much more popular now.) 

Have a fun summer on the water this year. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen, wear some great sunglasses, (the reflection off water can damage your eyes), wear a hat, keep some soft drinks and water in the ice chest, snacks, and have your cell phone handy in case you get stranded. The same law applies to drivers of boats, as to drivers of vehicles – don’t drink and drive! 

Stay safe and remember, wear that life jacket. After all, that’s what they are for – to save lives!


During the summer months, the right type of training and adequate protection can go a long way toward keeping workers safe outside, where workers are exposed to heat stress and UV radiation, pest-borne diseases, and poisonous plants .

Timing can be everything. While you can’t always choose your hours or work locations, you may be able to plan your workload to avoid overheating. Schedule your heaviest work for the coolest parts of the day. In the summer, sunlight exposure is greatest between 10 am and 4 pm.   Many workers start their day very early in the morning, and quit before the hottest time of the day starts, or return to work in the evening hours.  If you are working between 10 am and 4 pm, take several breaks during those hours, in a shady place.  

Stay hydrated.  When it’s hot, you must remember to drink enough fluids. Drink before you get thirsty, because once you become thirsty, you are already beginning to dehydrate. Skip drinks with caffeine, alcohol, and large amounts of sugar. Water is still the best choice, but if you are sweating a lot, drink a sports beverage to help replenish your electrolytes and prevent heat cramps.

 Summer fashion advice:  Wide-brimmed hats, sun glasses with side panels, and pants tucked into socks may not make much of an impression, but they can prevent any number of burns, stings, and bites. Full-length pants and long-sleeved shirts reduce bites from mosquitoes and ticks and minimize skin contact with poisonous plants. Hats and safety sunglasses protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s UV radiation. If you have a history of skin cancer, you may choose dark clothing with a tight weave, which blocks UV rays more effectively than light-colored, loosely woven clothing. However, if pests are more of a concern, wear light colors and tuck your pant legs into your socks to avoid unpleasant up-the-leg visitors. To stay cooler in the heat, wear light-colored clothing that is loose-fitting and made from a breathable material such as cotton.

Know your plants. Poison oak, ivy, and sumac are found throughout the United States. The sap oil from these plants can cause painful allergic reactions. Investigate the types that are poisonous, and avoid them. Wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and gloves to shield your skin from contact. Also, you may consider using a barrier skin cream.  Burning plants that may be poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac can cause life-threatening allergic reactions from the smoke. 

Find out if any workers have existing allergies.  In addition to knowing first aid and having first aid kits handy,  supervisors should be aware if a worker  is allergic to certain insect bites or stings, plants, etc., and be prepared to treat them as soon as possible.  The worker should carry benadryl, or some type of allergy medicine to avoid going into anaphylactic shock.

Watch out for the critters!  Tall grass, leaf litter, rocks, wood piles, and bushes are favorite hiding places for spiders, ticks, scorpions, and snakes. If possible, stay away from these areas. Wear gloves when handling brush or debris. Wear boots, pants, and long sleeves when working in tall grass or underbrush. Cut grass and remove dried leaves from around the worksite to reduce tick populations. Be cautious near piles of undisturbed materials where snakes or spiders may be. Store unused apparel and equipment in tightly closed plastic bags. An additional spider caution: they are often found living in outdoor toilets where flies are plentiful.  If you are working around standing water, or where mosquitoes breed and live, be aware that some of these little pests carry West Nile Virus.  This is a very serious and debilitating disease, so be sure you have insect repellent sprayed all over your clothes and open skin.

Monitor your coworkers. In addition to your own physical condition,  also keep an eye on your coworkers. Learn the symptoms of heat-related illness, and watch for them in yourself and others. Understand that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress. Also, brush up on your first aid so you can help a coworker who may need immediate help if suffering from heat stroke or other heat-related reactions.  Observe certain workers, such as older ones, that could be prone to heat stroke.  Those with heart disease or other health problems may not be able to stand continuous heat very long.  You and your coworkers can also help each other by inspecting for hard-to-spot creatures. Ticks, in particular, can be difficult to see, especially on your own body. Help each other inspect skin, hair, and clothes for unwanted passengers.

Use plenty of  sunscreen.  Last, but certainly not least,  follow this advice: wear plenty of  good sunscreen to block UVA and UVB radiation. Wear sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15. SPF refers to the amount of time you will be protected from a burn. An SPF of 15 will allow a person to stay out in the sun 15 times longer than they normally would be able to stay without burning. The SPF rating applies to skin reddening and protection against UVB exposure. It does not indicate any level of protection against UVA. A good broad spectrum sunscreen will contain additional ingredients to block UVA.  Ask your dermatologist what he/she recommends.  Sunscreen performance is affected by wind, humidity, perspiration, and proper application. It should be reapplied at least every two hours. Some sunscreens lose their efficiency when used with insect repellent.  Throw away sunscreen bottles that are more than 2 years old, as it is no longer effective.

Source: CDC



 Another “hot” topic for July, (in addition to fireworks safety), is the observance of  UV Safety Month.  Not only can the sun’s ultraviolet rays harm your eyes, but it can damage your skin, as well.  Too much sun can cause wrinkles.  Worse yet, it can cause skin cancer.   If you have places that you suspect could possibly be skin cancer, see your dermatologist, as early detection offers a good chance for successful treatment.  Make it a habit to wear sunscreen when going outdoors.  Most dermatologists will tell you, many of these suspicious places are the result of being exposed to too much sun when you were younger.  It’s never too early to start protecting your child’s skin. 

Whether at work or play, as summer heats up, it’s important for you to understand the damage that Ultraviolet waves can do to our vision.  Ultraviolet (UV) is the invisible band of radiation with a wavelength shorter than visible light and longer than x-rays – between 400 nanometers (nm) and x-rays at 4 nm and below.  Here are their three regions: 

  •       UV-A: (400-315 nm), Near UV
  •       UV-B: (315-280 nm), Mid UV
  •        UV-C:  (280-100 nm), Far UV 

Long- term exposure to ultraviolet radiation can damage eyes, and can lead to such disorders as cataracts and macular degeneration.   UV-blocking eye protection should be worn when people are exposed to the sun reflecting on water, sand, asphalt, and snow.  Many individuals are not aware of the dangers that contact with UV rays pose.  Everyone should wear eyewear blocking 99% of UVA and UVB rays, and a brimmed hat.   According to Prevent Blindness America, children are also at risk for eye damage from exposure to UV radiation.   They should wear the same UV-blocking eyewear for outdoor play, especially between 10 am and 3 pm, when UV rays are the most intense. 

When choosing sunglasses, be sure to choose lenses that absorb at least 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B rays.  Avoid labels that state “Provides UV Protection”, but do not distinguish the proportion of UV rays it blocks.  Carefully select the type of eye protection that best fits your needs and likes: polarized, wraparounds, or vented. 

Remember these tips for sun safety AT WORK OR PLAY:

  1. Stay in the shade as much as possible;
  2. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher;
  3.  Save your sight;
  4.  Cover up!
  5.  If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks!
  6. Stay hydrated. 

Source: Gatewaysafety.com/Prevent Blindness America


Water sports are always popular during the spring and summer months, but any boat owner and operator understands there are many hazards associated with boating. Accident avoidance is crucial when on the water. It is important to prepare any water craft before launching by making a standard checklist of proper and legal gear for the vehicle. There also are some basic rules to follow that should be restrictive of, or limit, dangerous behavior. This includes the use of alcohol while occupying a boat, especially for the individual driving the boat. Alcohol intoxication can also be extremely dangerous for anyone on a boat due to the potential of falling overboard or getting into a fatal crash.  This Memorial Day weekend will be a busy one for getting out on lakes, rivers, etc., so pay special attention to these tips.
1. Double Check All Safety Gear
Always be aware of what safety equipment is required for the boat. Each occupant should have a life jacket, which should be worn at all times on smaller water craft. This also applies for a pontoon boat because of the flat boat deck. Significant wake from larger crafts can create problems for a pontoon as well as a fishing boat or ski boat. Safety equipment is still required on house boats or cabin cruisers, even though they are larger craft, and life jacket availability should still be determined by the number of individuals on the boat. Safety equipment should also include at least one fire extinguisher.

2. Do Not Overload the Boat
Technically, this is described as tonnage and applies across different boat sizes. Overloading a boat can result in instability and cause the craft to sit too low in the water. Both conditions can be problematic, so it is important to observe all capacity recommendations involving both people and supplies. Posting a float plan on board can also help in case the boat becomes capsized. Make sure everyone knows the procedure. 

3. Avoid Boating Under the Influence
Everyone knows that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle while drunk or be in a vehicle while drinking alcohol. These open container laws are slightly different for boating in many states though, including Florida, Georgia, and Texas. Passengers are allowed to consume alcohol on boats, however, the person driving the boat must be below the legal limit of .08 in Florida, or else they are at risk of being charged with a criminal offense. Knowing all of the alcohol safety laws for operating boats is important for having a good and safe time on the water, so it doesn’t hurt to consult a professional like Orlando DUI Lawyer, David Katz, especially if you have been charged with an alcohol related offense.
4. Maintain Safe Speeds and Distance
Sometimes, fun on the water can also include significant amounts of speed, such as when pulling skiers. The experienced boat operator will know when dangers lie ahead and will be constantly surveying the lake for other craft. The differential in craft size makes boating a dangerous activity in the wrong setting. It is important for all boats to be under control and making sure, well in advance of calamity, that all safety measures are in tact with regards to movement and collision avoidance. 

5. Secure All Anchors When Docking
Boats that are not docked properly can result in trouble for other boaters as well as anchored craft. This is as important when the boat is in a docking slip as it is in a temporary tie-up. Boats that are parked and not continually occupied can experience problems during inclement weather, especially if they are not anchored sufficiently. Additionally, always check the amount of fuel in the tank when left unattended, and remember that an empty tank is more vulnerable to explosion than a full tank. 

A fun escapade on the water can turn into a tragedy quickly if proper safety measures are not taken. Because of this potential, it is always important to ensure that the craft complies legally with all aspects of boating, including the amount of alcohol consumed by the occupants. This applies to passengers as well as operators. Boating under the influence can result in huge fines for all involved when the maritime authorities intervene.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor and avid boater, offering tips for safe, fun boating excursions. Orlando DUI Lawyer, David Katz, is an experienced Florida attorney, eager to help in all DUI defense cases. One-time mistakes shouldn’t be devastating in the way that a DUI charge can be. Don’t assume that you’re up against something you can’t beat; experienced attorneys like Katz will go to bat for you, to protect your rights in any alcohol related boating incident.
Saam, I’d like to add, for those planning on being on the water, plan to carry along their cell phone, plenty of sunscreen, and wear a good pair of safety sunglasses that prevent UV damage.  pb


During the summer months, workers who are exposed to extreme heat should recognize symptoms of heat stress, and how it can be prevented.  The month of May is more than half-gone, and things are heating up already.  May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection Month, and May 25th is Heat Safety Awareness Day.  So we hope you will take heed: 

Things that can lead to heat stress are: inadequate water intake, physical exertion, direct sun, high temperature or humidity, and some medicines.  Workers should stay hydrated and maintain a safe core body temperature, which should never exceed 100°F.  Ingesting fluids on a regular basis also puts less strain on the cardiovascular system. 

Signs of heat disorders are:

  • Heat Exhaustion – This is the result of a combination of dehydration and excessive heat.  Headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, giddiness, and thirst are symptoms.  Workers with heat exhaustion should be given fluids, and encouraged to rest.  Workers can stay hydrated by keeping containers of fluids handy at all times.
  • Heat Cramps – Caused by an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating and lack of water replenishment.  Workers in hot environments should drink water every 15 to 20 minutes and drink carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids (e.g., sports drinks).
  • Heat Stroke – This is the most serious heat related disorder.  Confusion, irrational behavior, loss of consciousness, lack of sweating (usually), an abnormally high temperature are primary signs of heat stroke, resulting in a medical emergency.  The worker should be doused with cool water and given fluids.  Drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine or large amounts of sugar can cause workers to lose body fluid, and very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps.  Cool fluids are easier to drink and more easily absorbed into the body.
  • Heat Rashes – Most common problem where skin is persistently wetted by sweat.  Creams or ointments should not be used as they keep the skin warm and moist, and may worsen the condition.  Powders may be applied. 

A reminder to workers: be sure to drink fluids before becoming thirsty; if you wait, your body is already dehydrated.  Wear a wide brimmed hat if your work doesn’t require a hardhat, use sunscreen, and wear polarized safety eyewearthat have the proper UV protection.  Be sure to protect your body with a sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rate.  Protect your children from sunburn, because many times skin cancer shows up at a later age, waiting all that time from childhood to adulthood to become a serious problem.  Children’s eyes should also be protected from the UV rays of the sun; it is important that they wear sunglasses , just as their parents do.

Source: OSHA, CDC


By Barbara Williams of www.findababysitter.org 

With rising childhood obesity rates and the increasing illnesses that accompany a sedentary lifestyle, it’s no secret that kids should be encouraged to get outside and engage in active play. As the lower temperatures approach, so does cold and flu season, which can be greatly exacerbated when kids are held indoors where germs can easily be spread through respiratory droplets and exhalations. Keeping kids safe while they’re out in the cold, however, is an absolute necessity. The following guidelines can help you ensure that your kids’ activity levels don’t suffer at the onset of winter and that they stay safe until the spring thaw rolls around.

  1. Use Sunscreen – Protecting kids’ skin from the damaging rays of the sun is a major priority for most parents and caregivers during the summer months, but one that often falls to the wayside when temperatures cool down. In fact, the reflection of the sun off of snow and ice can be almost as damaging as direct exposure. Make sure that your youngsters are slathered with sunscreen before they hit the outdoors. Another tip is to protect their eyes with sunglasses that have UV protection. Glare from snow, and other bright winter backgrounds can damage their eyes the same as in warm weather.
  2. Waterproof Clothing is Key – Keeping kids warm during the winter chill relies heavily upon your ability to keep them dry. Melting ice and snow can leave most fabrics wet, soggy and very cold. Make sure that you invest in some waterproof or water-resistant clothing and shoes, especially proper boots.
  3. Know the Signs of Frostbite – Frostbite occurs when your child’s skin or extremities are literally frozen. The nose, ears, fingers, cheeks and toes are most commonly affected, and it can be quite dangerous when these extremities suffer from frostbite. Signs of superficial frostbite include itching, numbness, tingling or burning sensations. The affected skin may become white, flushed, yellow or blue and appear frozen, and will be cold to the touch.
  4. Dress for Success – Just because your kids are bundled against the cold doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wearing safe clothing. Hoods and hats don’t take the place of helmets for activities like biking or skating, while tight clothing that restricts movement can present a danger as it inhibits kids’ ability to move and balance properly. Be sure that your brood is dressed appropriately for outdoor play, not just for cold temperatures.
  5. Insist on Warm-Up Breaks – When kids are enjoying themselves and are particularly absorbed in an activity, it’s easy for them to lose track of time. That’s why it’s important for you to insist on periodic warm-up breaks to check for signs of hypothermia or frostbite and ensure that they don’t get too cold.
  6. Keep Ice Skating Safe – Ice skating is a beloved, time-honored cold-weather outdoor activity. It can also be quite dangerous, though. Public areas designated for ice skating are far safer than ponds or bodies of water on your own property, which may not be thoroughly frozen and could crack under kids’ weight. Be sure that any ice your children are going to skate on is frozen solid, and that they’re wearing the right protective gear.
  7. Smart Sledding – Racing down a snow-covered hill on a sled is one of life’s great thrills, even for adults. Kids love sledding, but it’s important that they understand the basic safety rules before setting out. Sledding down hills that terminate near a road, down paths that have obstacles like jumps, rocks or bumps, or down icy slopes are all sledding safety no-nos. Kids should also never be pulled on sleds behind moving vehicles of any kind.
  8. Don’t Forget About Dehydration – Dehydration isn’t a concern reserved solely for warm-weather months. While your children are enjoying a session of outdoor play, be sure that they’re taking in plenty of fluids.
  9. Scarf Safety – Scarves are useful tools for protecting against the cold, as they can be wrapped around almost any part of the body that feels cold. However, they can also become ensnared in moving parts of toys or overhanging branches, closed in doors, or otherwise tangled in a manner that presents a strangulation risk. It’s better to opt for cowl-style scarves until kids are a bit older and less rambunctious.
  10. Double-Check Equipment – Making sure that any equipment for outdoor play, whether new or old, is in good condition, fits properly and is otherwise suitable for use before sending kids outside with it. Damaged or broken equipment can very easily cause injuries, especially if kids are using them improperly to compensate for the damage.

While outdoor play is important and can help to stave off cold-weather ailments, like the flu or the common cold, it’s important to understand that there are times when it’s simply too cold for your brood to safely be outside. Extreme temperatures can be very dangerous, causing a child’s body to lose heat faster than it can be generated. The end result is hypothermia, which can be life-threatening.


Summer is the time of increased activity and all-day outdoor fun, but it can also be the season of injury and mishap when excited kids become reckless in their enthusiasm. Parents and childcare providers can spend the dog days patching up contusions and rushing to the emergency room, or they can take a few simple steps to help prevent the most common summer injuries.
  • Ban Trampolines – Few backyard toys scream “summertime” quite like a big, bouncy trampoline. Unfortunately, kids run a significant risk of getting hurt every time they catch some air; The American Academy of Pediatrics even goes so far as to say that “parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.” Falls from the surface of a trampoline can cause impact injuries, springs can pinch, tear and cut delicate flesh, not to mention the inherent risk of injury due to collision when kids share a trampoline. Supervision only allows parents or caregivers to be present immediately following an injury; the nature of trampoline play makes it almost impossible to ward off an impending accident before it occurs. Installing a net and instituting a “one at a time” rule might prevent some injuries, but are by no means foolproof.
  • Use Sunscreen Religiously – Sunburns may seem like par for the kiddie summertime course, but parents should understand that they are, in fact, injuries. The Skin Cancer Foundation asserts that a single severe sunburn during childhood could double the risk of a skin cancer diagnosis in adulthood, not to mention the ease with which a “minor” sunburn can become one that blisters and causes serious discomfort. Sunburns that present with blisters are actually second-degree burns, and are absolutely preventable injuries. Apply sunscreen before kids go outside, and reapply frequently. Swimming and sweating heavily can wash away even “waterproof” formulas over time, so be sure to keep slathering it on kids that are particularly active or playing in water.
  • Be Vigilant About Pool Safety – The Consumer Product Safety Commission states that almost 75% of child drowning deaths occur in youngsters under the age of five, and that an annual average of 390 pool or spa-related drownings of children under the age of 15 drowned between 2007 and 2009. Kiddie pools are no exception. During summer months, 1 child dies every 5 days in a kiddie pool. Parents and childcare providers are urged to practice “touch supervision,” meaning that they are never out of reach of a child in water. Outlaw running in pool areas, horseplay and risky activities to prevent injury, and become certified in CPR to prevent tragedy when accidents aren’t avoided.
  • Keep Kids Cool and Hydrated – Sunshine and summer heat are part of what makes the outdoors appealing; free from restrictive layers of warm clothing that are de rigueur in winter, kids can climb, run and play to their hearts’ content. Unfortunately, the heat and increased activity also puts kids at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which they’re already more susceptible to than their adult counterparts. Little bodies generate more heat and sweat less, so parents and caregivers are urged to dress kids in light clothes, make sure that they stay hydrated and avoid prolonged and intense activity in the summer heat. Encourage kids to take breaks, provide plenty of fluids, such as water and Gatorade and keep your eyes peeled for signs of heat exhaustion, which include cramps, nausea, dizziness, vomiting and fainting. Kids suffering from heat exhaustion may also deny that they feel hot, so it’s imperative to watch for other symptoms.
  • Enforce Strict Helmet Rules – Older kids may like to shuck their bicycle helmets the moment they’re out of your sight, but it’s still important that parents and caregivers do their best to enforce those rules without exception. Head and brain injuries are common causes of hospital visits for children, often due to bicycle accidents in which the head is not protected by a helmet. Make it a policy never to let your child ride without a helmet.
  • Get a Mouth Guard For Summer Sports – Community sports leagues and teams are often formed during the summer months, allowing kids to play without worries about the demands of schoolwork and keeping them active during what could easily become a very sedentary, unhealthy time. Enrolling kids in these programs is a wise idea, but parents should always invest in a quality mouth guard to protect kids’ mouths. Not only does this help to prevent tooth loss; mouth guards also provide protection for the tongue, jaw and lips.

Some scrapes, cuts and bruises are simply inevitable; children at play have a tendency to trip, fall and run into things. However, the most common, serious injuries are almost always preventable, so adopt an active approach to supervision during the summer months.

Carrie Dotson, summernannyjobs.com

Please follow these tips, as summer as far from over in several parts of the world. pb



We hope your Fourth of July celebration went off without a hitch!  No traffic tickets, no sunburn, no fireworks injuries, and or other obstacles in the way of slowing you down to get back to work today, hopefully.  This time of the year is the greatest time for us to enjoy our freedom and show our support for our troops.  As you go through the rest of the summer, keep them in mind and let’s hope they are all back to help us celebrate in the near future.  One thing to remember: it’s even hotter where they are than where we are! 

July is UV Safety Month, sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the main cause of skin cancer, and can also damage your eyes.  This is a good time to send the message of safety during sun and fun times.  Those who work in the sun also need to be warned about the damage that UV rays can cause, in order to take precautions to avoid these types of health problems. 

The highest risk for getting skin cancer seems to be for those who have:

  • Blond or red hair;
  • Blue or green eyes;
  • White or light-colored skin with freckles.

Those people especially, but let’s include everyone else to take these steps to prevent skin cancer:

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. if possible;
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
  • Use sunscreen that has UVA and UVB protection – “broad spectrum” sunscreen.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat;
  • Check your skin regularly for any changes. 

UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotchy skin.  Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.  Tanning indoors is not safe, either.  According to Dr. Carol Cola, who works in the Department of Surgery at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, around 90 per cent of skin cancers appear on the neck, head, ears, lips, or hands – areas that are most often exposed to the sun.  Sunburn can happen anywhere – driving a car, through a glass window, or reflections off concrete, sand, or snow. 

To do a self-examination for skin cancer, simply watch for any changes in size or color of freckles, moles, or birthmarks.  If you notice anything different, see your physician or dermatologist.  Recent studies by the Skin Cancer Foundation state that studies have recently indicated that only 23 per cent of damage from UV exposure happens to most young people by the age of 18 – not the 80 per cent that was formerly thought to be.  This shows that there is benefit to be gained for persons of any age, to protect themselves from damaging rays.  It still is important that we use sunscreen on our children and sunshades that will protect their eyes. 

UVA and UVB rays can hurt your eyes.  This type of radiation can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and some cancers.  The use of proper types of sunshades can help prevent this from happening.  It’s always been “cool” to wear sunshades, just be sure you purchase polarized ones that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. 

Everyone at work in should get involved in spreading the message that damage from the sun can be very harmful, even deadly!  Posters need to be placed right by the doors before workers step out into that hot sun.  Companies could ask a health professional to demonstrate how to check skin regularly for skin-cancer warning signs.  A local dermatologist, registered nurse, or public health official would be happy to help educate your employees about the dangers of skin cancer.  Place a memo in their paychecks to remind them to do all they can to protect their skin and eyes from radiation from the sun.  

We hope this will serve as a reminder to all of you to try to stay as cool as possible this summer – it is already a scorcher!   There are many products that can help protect you, so take advantage of them.


The Memorial Day holiday weekend ushers in the beginning of warm weather outings, as most students have finished their school year.  There is always much anticipation in the air about planned trips, summer jobs, or whatever new things are to be enjoyed.  We want to remind you that the highways will be heavily travelled, so leave a little early in order to not be rushed.  Be careful if you are traveling alone about where you take rest stops.  It is wiser to stop at convenience stores, or where there are many people, than some of the public roadside rest stops.  Also, be aware that your friendly state troopers will be out in full force, with the sole purpose of keeping you safe!  Don’t let any distractions get in the way of safety, stay off the cell phone (hands free, only), NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING, and don’t drink and drive!

One pesky little detail I’d like to mention is that, according to the travel organization, AAA, there should be almost 35 million Americans traveling either by train, plane, or cruises.  For those that are doing so, or staying in hotels, the National Pest Management Association advises people to keep bed bug prevention and detection tips in mind. “The good news is that summer is finally here; the bad news is that bed bugs continue to lurk in places people typically visit during a vacation,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Although bed bugs are a year-round pest, people have a greater chance of picking up this hitchhiker during the summer as travel increases. Bed bugs are a souvenir no one wants to bring home.”

Here are several NPMA tips to help travelers remain bed bug-free. More information can be found at AllThingsBedBugs.org.

  • Pull back hotel bed sheets, inspect the mattress seams, box spring, around and behind the headboard, sofas and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins or bugs.
  • Avoid putting luggage on the bed or upholstered furniture.
  • If changing rooms, be sure the new room is not adjacent to the possibly infested room.
  • Use a large plastic bag to store luggage.
  • Upon returning home, inspect and vacuum suitcases thoroughly before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash and dry clothes on hot – whether worn or not or have them dry cleaned.
  • Consumers suspecting an infestation should contact a licensed pest professional.

Many people are wondering if the high price of gasoline will affect travel, beginning this Memorial Day weekend.  The American Auto Club Association’s holiday travel projection that was released nationally, is that about 100,000 more Americans will be traveling this year than last.  According to the group, travelers will find other ways to compensate for the near record fuel costs by cutting down on other areas of their travel budgets.  Many may make the choices of less expensive vacations, such as hiking and other outings rather than more expensive meals and shopping.  And others may simply choose to stay home, maybe throw some ribs on the grill, and enjoy watching the big race, basketball playoffs, and baseball games.  That’s not such a bad idea.  Sometimes waiting to travel when it isn’t a holiday is safer.

It should be a long, hot summer, so stock up on sunscreen, and don’t forget those safety safety sunglasses, and earplugs for any loud events you plan to attend, say, the Indianapolis 500? Don’t overdo it in the sun.  A tan looks great until you get older, and then just adds to the wrinkles!

Most important of all, don’t forget the reason for this holiday.  Memorial Day is always celebrated in the United States on the last Monday of May.  This is a legal holiday that pays tribute to the memory of those who died while serving the United States in wars.  It was first observed in 1866.  We continue to honor those who gave their lives in the process of holding on to the freedoms that we enjoy.  We must also honor those who are now serving in far-away places, away from the celebration of family, and pray for their safe return.