Monthly Archives: June 2018

Foodborne Illness

By Mindy Longhurst

The summer is filled with so many fond memories playing outside. One of the highlights of summer is neighborhood barbecues and family picnics. These are filled with fun memories and great food! But, with the temperatures increasing, food safety is very important. No one wants to get food poisoning! 48 million Americans will get food poisoning this year. This is a startling amount of people! Some food borne illnesses can be prevented by doing some simple steps.

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Keep your food cold!

For refrigerated foods, it is essential to keep them cool when outside. It is difficult for bacteria to grow and multiply on cold food. To keep food cold make sure to bring a cooler and fill it with ice.

Do not reuse ice from raw meat

Make sure to ice your raw meat before cooking at picnics and barbecues. But, make sure to never reuse ice that was used for raw meat. The bacteria from the raw meat contaminates the ice. If you reuse the ice, people could get sick.

Do not keep the food out in the sun too long

Bacteria multiplies when exposed to heat. You do not want your fruit or potato salad to be outside all day. It is recommended to only let food sit out for 2 hours. But, if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then it should not be out for more than an hour.

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Wash your hands

Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling food. Read more about proper washing by reading this article https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/washing-the-germs-away/.

Wash your food

Wash fruits and vegetables before eating your food.

Wash your utensils

Make sure that the cooking utensils are cleaned after handling food to prevent cross contamination.

Use a food thermometer

Using a food thermometer is crucial when grilling. You want to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way. The recommended temperature for a burger is 160 ⁰F.

Keep food in separate containers in cooler

Everyone loves a great bowl of potato salad or fruit salad at the family picnic! If the food is sitting outside too long it can get people sick. To prevent this, put your big bowl of salads in a cooler with ice. Take a few smaller bowls and fill them up with the salad. Use the smaller bowls for people to fill up their plates. You can refill the smaller bowls throughout the picnic to make sure the food does not stay out too long in the sun.

 

For more information, please visit https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/events/summervacations/index.html

 

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Washing the Germs Away

By Mindy Longhurst

It has been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. The kitchen is where food is lovingly prepared and where families spend time together each day. But, the kitchen can also be a dangerous place if precautions are not taken. The following easy steps can be taken to protect your family and keep them safe from foodborne illnesses.

cooking-hands-handwashing-545013Proper hand washing

In order for your foods to be safe, make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds under warm water before handling food. Scrub the inside and top of your hands as well as scrub underneath the fingernails. Scrubbing your entire hand will make sure that the bacteria on your hand is gone. If you are unsure about how long to wash your hands for, sing the ABCs or Happy Birthday song. These songs are usually about 20 seconds in length.

berries-blackberries-blueberries-87818Proper food washing

Fruits and vegetables should be rinsed over cold water before eating. There can be bacteria and even dirt on the fruit and vegetables. Having them rinsed will reduce the amount of bad bacteria.

Make sure to not wash poultry, eggs and meats. This can spread the bacteria all over the sink and counters! If cooked properly, the majority of the bacteria will be cooked out of these products.

Proper utensil and counter washing

Make sure to clean all counters, tables, cutting boards or sinks that have raw or undercooked meat on them. This needs to be washed as soon as the meat is off the surface. Raw meat has a lot of bacteria and could easily cross contaminate other foods if the utensils are not properly cleaned.

For more information, please visit www.fsis.usda.gov/

Health Benefits from Swimming

By Mindy Longhurst

action-blue-diver-863988Everyone knows that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Swimming is a fun and painless way to get exercise into your schedule. There are many benefits from swimming. These benefits include:

Better exercise for those with joint pain

The water has a great way of easing joint pain. As a result, swimming is one of the only forms of exercise where it does not hurt people with joint issues. Swimming takes the stress off the body and joints.

Good aerobic exercise

Adults are supposed to get about 2.5 hours of exercise per week. Swimming is a great way to accomplish this weekly goal.

Swimming is fun

Swimming is a fun form of exercise. Even children who do not enjoy exercising usually enjoy swimming in a pool, because it is fun!

Healing

Water has wonderful healing opportunities. Water feels great on the skin and helps to be able to relax your muscles and body.

Improves mental health

It has been proven that going swimming improves people’s mental health. When most people leave a pool or lake they feel relaxed and are calmer and happier.

Good exercise for older adults

Because of the healing aspect of the water and the ease of joints, swimming is a great way for older adults to receive their exercise.

Tones muscles

Swimming uses the muscles of your body in different ways than running or lifting weights. Swimming tones the shoulders, arms and legs.

For more information about health benefits from swimming, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html

Pool Safety Tips

By Mindy Longhurst

Drowning is the most frequent cause of accidental deaths in 1-4 year olds. This is something that can be prevented. Below are some pool safety tips to keep everyone safe this summer.

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Teach your children how to swim

If you have a pool or attend a pool, make sure that your children are taught how to swim. Knowing how to swim can save a child’s life.

Always have an adult watching children in a pool

When children are swimming in a pool, make sure there is adult supervision. This can protect the children from dangerous situations. An adult can call 9-1-1, can help a drowning child get out of a pool and if needed can possibly give CPR until proper medical emergency teams can get there.

Learn CPR

Learning how to administer CPR is a great skill that everyone should know.

Install a pool fence

Children can accidentally fall into a pool and drown. Installing a tall pool fence will ensure that children will be safe playing in the backyard year round.

Make sure drains are working properly

Drains for the pool are very important for the pool to function normally. Drains left uncovered can potentially be very dangerous. Make sure that your drains are covered and working properly.

Teach children swimming safety

Before children even get into the pool, they should be taught swimming safety. Children need to know what to do in the case of an emergency. Preparing them for a swimming emergency by teaching them swimming safety and how to handle emergencies will help the children greatly.

Pool maintenance

If you have a pool, make sure to keep it maintained. Cleaning the water frequently will ensure less bacteria is in the water.

For more pool safety tips, please visit https://www.poolsafely.gov/parents/safety-tips/

 

Beach Safety Tips

By Mindy Longhurst

beach-calm-clouds-459522The beach can be filled with so many fun summer memories! But, the beach can also be a place of danger. Here are some tips for how to have beach summer safety.

Teach children how to swim

If possible, before going to the beach teach your children how to swim. This will help them to be safer in the water.

Look for signs

Looking for danger or caution signs is key when you are at the beach. If you do this, then you will know where to not go.

Wear lifejackets

If you plan to go swimming, make sure to bring lifejackets or other forms of floatation devices. This will protect you if you are caught in a current. This will especially help children who may not be strong swimmers.

Wear sunscreen

Make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and reapply every two hours. This will ensure skin safety and health. (See related story on how to read a sunscreen label at https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/what-to-look-for-on-a-sunscreen-bottle/ ).

Drink plenty of water

Especially because you will be out in the sun, make sure to drink plenty of water. Water is crucial so you do not overheat and become exhausted.

Keep food cool

Keep your food cool by bringing a cooler. The bacteria on food multiplies rapidly in the heat. Keeping your food cool will keep your food safe.

If caught in a current

If you are caught in a current, the most important thing you need to do is to stay calm. Do not swim against the current, the current will be stronger than you. Fighting against the current will just bring fatigue. If close enough, make sure to signal to the lifeguards that you need help. If possible, raise your arms above your head and wave them to get the attention of the lifeguards. Some suggest if caught in a current to swim parallel to the shore.

For more information on beach safety, please visit http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/beach-safety

Men and Mental Health

By Mindy Longhurst

Mental health is a huge issue across the nation. Both men and women suffer from mental health issues. However, women are diagnosed with mental health issues more than men. This might be for several reasons. Women are more likely to discuss their feelings and seek help when having difficulty. Men sometimes try to push these emotions out and seek help after the symptoms have gotten worse. Sometimes men exhibit symptoms differently than women.

Symptoms for depression in men include:

  • Anger or aggressiondepression-despair-grief-897817
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Disinterest in things they like
  • Headaches
  • Physical pain
  • Change of eating schedule/desire
  • Change in mood and/or behavior
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Change in energy level
  • Thoughts of death
  • Negative thoughts

Symptoms for anxiety include:

  • Anxious for 6 months or more
  • Fear and concern exaggerated

If you believe there is an issue going on, sit down and talk to your loved ones about the way that you are feeling. If you do this, you will be able to open the doors to seeking help. The DSM-5 is a test that doctors use to diagnose someone with depression or anxiety. This can be found at the American Psychiatric Association website. You can sit with a close friend or loved one and go through the test together. This will help you to know if you need to go see a doctor or not.

If you have been diagnosed

If a doctor or medical physician has diagnosed you, it is okay. Knowing there is an issue is the first step to healing.

Ways to help with treatment

Therapy

Going to therapy is a great way to help monitor progress. This will help you to be able to express your feelings openly.

Medication

Doctors and other medical physicians can prescribe medications to help with depression and anxiety. If medication has been prescribed, make sure to consult with your physician before going off your medication.

Sleep

Having regular and adequate amounts of sleep is great for the body. This will help your body to heal and function each day.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to bring stability and happiness into your life. Sometimes exercise has longer lasting positive effects than medication. Exercise helps to clear the mind and reduce stress.

How to help someone who has depression or anxiety

The best thing you can do to help someone who has depression and anxiety is to listen. You must be nonjudgmental and listen to what they are going through. Do not try to solve their problems, this can cause more issues. If they are coming to you for emotional support this means that they trust you. Support them the best way you know how.

For more information, please visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression/index.shtml

Preventing Exercise Related Injuries

By Mindy Longhurst

Diet and exercise are a part of a healthy lifestyle. When you exercise there is a risk of injury. The following tips explain how you can prevent an injury from occurring while exercising.

Start exercise with a warm up

Starting exercise with a warm up is key to preventing injuries. Cool muscles are more susceptible to becoming injured. As a result, it is much better for your body to start exercising with a warm up activity like lightly jogging for a few minutes before you start running.

End exercise with a cool down

After you have worked out, make sure to end your exercise with a cool down. This will help your muscles to be able to prepare for rest. Cool downs also help your heart to be able to return to a normal heartbeat and helps your muscles to start to relax.

body-exercise-fitness-176782Stretch after cool down

You are supposed to stretch after the cool down while your muscles are still warm. This will help to stretch out the muscles and strengthen your body.

If out of shape, do not go all out

A common issue that occurs is that people who are out of shape or who do not exercise regularly try to go all out when they first exercise. This can lead to injury of self or to others. If you have not worked out in a long time or do not work out regularly, make sure to start small and work your way up to a full workout.

Even fit people can become injured

Even those who exercise regularly and are cautious can still be hurt. Dr. Neil Peterson, an assistant professor for the College of Nursing at Brigham Young University, recently became injured while exercising. As he was playing soccer with some friends, someone accidentally collided into him. This caused him to have a grade 2 tear of his MCL.

Neil did the right thing by immediately stopping his exercise. He went to an urgent care clinic and followed the instructions that were given. He rested, iced, compressed and elevated his knee. He now just takes ibuprofen and wears a brace. Doing all of these things has allowed his body to heal faster and to slowly start exercising again.

Have fun!

If you are new to exercising, make sure to pick something that you like to do and go do it! If you do not like running, then do not run. If you love swimming, go to the pool and have fun swimming!