Skin care for athletes who train in the sun 

Don’t Let Sunburn Ruin Your Summer Months 

With the summer months heating up, you may be spending more time out in the sun. Whether you’re off to a beach getaway or just enjoying the outdoors, it’s easy to forget the importance of sun protection. In the event of sunburn, follow these tips from Men’s Healthfor some quick relief:

Stay Hydrated
Hydrating from within will be key to speeding the healing, which should take about a week. “If the skin barrier is disrupted, your skin may not be maintaining hydration as well as it would otherwise,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.

Your skin needs a topical fix to rehydrate, and aloe is the perfect sunburn-healer. You’ll want to avoid moisturizers that contain petroleum, benzocaine or lidocaine, as petroleum products trap the heat in your skin (ouch) and the other two no-no ingredients can be irritants according to the American Academy of Dermatology. If you’re truly uncomfortable, an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream can help calm the burn and fight inflammation and itching.

Remember, using sunscreen with at least 30 SPF to begin with can help you avoid sunburn this summer. If you happen to experience sunburn, you can follow these tips to avoid having your bad sunburn ruin a great summer vacation.

Poor quality sunglasses may harm your eyes 

Your choice of sunglasses can have a bigger impact on your eye health than you might realize.

Eye specialists are warning not to use poor quality UV sunglasses because they may harm your eyes and create long-term vision defects, The Nation reports.

Professor Dr Khalid Wahid says that sunglasses are a form of protective eyewear meant to prevent bright and high energy light from damaging or discomforting the eyes.

But, if you’re wearing a cheap pair that do not have polarization, UVA and UVB filters, it may result in eye irritation, tears, visual distortion, headaches, and blurred vision.

“Wearing full dark sunglasses will increase pressure on eyes and as a result the pupil opens up by half mm to 5 mm to catch the proper vision and which also allows dangerous UVA and UVB light rays into eyes which may damage them,” Dr. Wahid said.

How to keep your kids safe from injuries 

Dr. Gregory Caronis shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper recently that although it may not seem like it today, warmer days of spring are ahead. And with warm thoughts on our minds, many adults look back fondly on childhood days filled with active games, playgrounds and the beginning of the spring sport season. While we often remember playing outdoors with friends until waning daylight signals that it’s time to go home, carefree days can also be marred with injuries that can leave a lasting impact on a child’s health and development.

Children keep us busy in my orthopedic office. Many of the patients I see are children who tend to be much more active than adults and more prone to injury.

In addition, as one of the orthopedic trauma surgeons at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., I am frequently on call when a child is injured. A good number of children we see suffer a fracture after falls from playground equipment or during play with friends. While the broken bone temporarily compromises a child’s lifestyle, they usually heal uneventfully with the proper treatment and care.

Still, certain basic steps can keep children safe. I would say that the greatest number of orthopedic injuries occur on playground equipment or with bike riding. Many of the injuries are bruises, but fractured arms and wrists are common, too.

Helmets – The importance of helmet utilization cannot be overemphasized — broken bones pale in comparison to the irreversible impact of a head injury. The helmet requirement should extend to any type of rolling sport. Scooters, skates and skateboards can all have the potential to cause a sudden fall with a significant amount of impact.

Playgrounds – The playground is fun but can be a dangerous place for children. Spring is the time we start seeing an increase in the number of playground injuries from a fall with an outstretched arm. Our body instinctively tries to break the fall, and we extend a hand forward. The impact frequently results in a fractured wrist. Close supervision of young children is important, as they may not have the physical skills required to safely navigate the equipment. Read more 

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How to clean your reusable water bottle 

water bottlesPOPSUGAR agrees that the beauty of the reusable water bottle is that it’s just that — reusable. You can repeatedly head to the water cooler or faucet to fill it up, but when your bottle continually stays wet, it doesn’t have the chance to get a proper cleaning. Since bacteria love a moist, dark environment, it’s good to get in the habit of cleaning your bottle every night — or at least every few days. Here are some ways you can get rid of the germs and grime.

Throw it in the dishwasher: Some bottles are dishwasher safe, so check the bottom of your bottle or the brand’s website to make sure. Kleen Kanteen Classic stainless-steel bottles and glass bottles like those from Lifefactory and bkr are dishwasher safe, as well as some products from Nalgene and Camelbak.

Wash it with warm soapy water: Pour out any leftover liquid, add a few drops of dishwashing soap and some warm water, screw on the top, and shake for a minute or so. It’s smart to invest in a bottle brush like this so you can scrub deep inside your bottle, especially if it has a narrow mouth. Thoroughly clean the cap and straw as well and allow to air-dry overnight.

Use vinegar: This all-natural cleaner is great for killing certain germs and bacteria, but it isn’t effective at killing everything such as the flu virus. If you’re OK with that, use this method: after washing with soapy water, rinse well, and fill your bottle one fifth of the way with white vinegar. Fill the rest with water, let it stand overnight, and in the morning thoroughly rinse it out.

Use a weak bleach solution: If you’re really worried about germs, nothing stands a chance against a little bleach. It’s perfectly safe to drink from a bottle that’s been cleaned with a weak bleach solution — it can even be used to sanitize baby toys and bottles. Make a bleach solution using one tablespoon of bleach per one quart of water. Fill your bottle, screw on the top, and allow to sit for two minutes. Pour out the solution and allow it to dry out completely.

Use water bottle cleansing tablets: Many companies make this type of product, includingCamelbak ($12 for eight), or you can also get away with using effervescent denture cleaning tablets such as Efferdent. Just fill your bottle with water, drop the tablet in, and allow to dissolve and sit for 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the product’s directions). Then rinse and enjoy your clean bottle.

Trading Healthy Quads for Bad Knees? 

College of DuPage leg machineNursing Student Dan Geitz asks, “Do you feel joint pain in your knees after exercising your legs? “There may be a simple explanation. The quadriceps femoris, or “quads,” are the largest muscle group in the leg – and therefore should be exercised routinely. Running is helpful, but many people look to gain strength by doing supplemental exercises as well. Quad exercises can be very beneficial; as long as the correct exercises are being done.

One of the most common quad exercises – at least for those with access to a gym – is the seated leg extension machine. The machine involves sitting on a chair with a back at almost a 90 degree angle, and pushing weight outward and up from a padded bar at shin level. The weight can be adjusted to fit different types of workouts. The problem with the leg extension machine, however, is the strain that it causes on specific points in the knee.

While extending the leg, the stress that should be solely on the quads is also distributed to the knees – especially at full extension. This has been known to cause deviation of the kneecap, as well as ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) damage; you know, the ligament that can keep professional athletes on the sidelines for an entire year if it is torn. And to add insult to possible injury, the exercise doesn’t even have much real-world application unless you do a lot of kicking motions in your everyday life.

If you have access to a leg extension machine, you almost certainly have access to other options for quad exercises. Squats and leg press are safer alternatives in terms of potential for knee damage, and have the added benefit of strengthening multiple muscle groups at the same time. If squats intimidate you, try reverse step-ups on your bottom step at home. Just stand in front of the step, facing away from it. Place your toes from one of your feet on the step, and slowly raise yourself onto the stair. Lower yourself slowly and repeat. Switching to one of these exercises will still give you that quad burn that you know and love, but will save your knees in the process.

For more information, please visit these websites and enjoy your exercising!


Great Advice from Mater Sky 

Bike Safety 

The dangers of kids and fireworks 

fireworksJameson Lamb of Homewood-Flossmoor was only 16 when a Roman candle took out his right eye.

As Fourth of July approaches, the Northwestern University student is offering a warning to everyone who plans to use fireworks this Independence Day.

“I can tell you from my own experience, it’s not worth the risk,” says Lamb, now 19. “Be safe this Fourth. If you do fireworks at home, wear eye protection. Better yet, go to a professional show. It’s safer. Whatever you do, please don’t let kids play with fireworks.”

To help prevent more tragic firework injuries like Jameson’s, the American Academy of Ophthalmology conducted a fireworks safety survey this year with Harris Poll. Among the findings released last week are:

• 33 percent of Americans know someone injured by fireworks or have been injured themselves

• 20 percent of people in the Midwest say they plan to use fireworks at home, a neighbor’s, or a friend’s this Fourth of July.

• Nearly 60 percent of adults polled in the Midwest — the highest of any area in the U.S. — say it’s OK for children age 5 to 10 to play with sparklers. But only 10 percent of Americans say it’s OK for kids of that age to handle birthday candles. Sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and routinely cause the most injuries of any firework, according to the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission.