Tips for Parents
The Pain of Flip-Flops
Flip-flops may be a flop when it comes to treating your body well. That’s according to a new study from the American College of Sports Medicine. Researchers found that many people adjust their stride when wearing summer’s favorite footwear often in an attempt to avoid stubbing their toes or losing their shoes.
As a result, lower leg, hip, back and knee problems may arise when flip-flops are worn for extended periods of time. "The major shock absorption occurs back on the heel," explained Dr. Rock Positano from the Hospital for Special surgery in New York, on "Good Morning America" (6/6/08), "and if the surface between the heel and the ground is not supported it does not allow the heel to absorb shock as well as it should. Which means the foot works harder than it should and people tend to develop overuse injuries..."
Avoiding Recreational Water Illnesses During Swimming Season
Now that summer swimming season has arrived, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that 2007 saw more recreational water illnesses (RWIs) than ever before. These illnesses are spread by having contact with germs in swimming pools, lakes, rivers, spas or oceans.
"The leading cause of RWI outbreaks is Cryptosporidium or Crypto, a chlorine-resistant parasite, primarily associated with treated swimming places, such as pools and water parks," explained Michele Hlavsa, an epidemiologist at the CDC. "This RWI has been a public health issue in the past and will likely pose an even bigger challenge in the future."
Those infected with Crypto may exhibit symptoms within 2 to 10 days, including watery diarrhea lasting one to three weeks, stomach cramps or pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss. Some people will have no symptoms at all while those with weakened immune systems may be at risk for severe or life-threatening illness.
Hlavsa recommends the following healthy swimming habits to reduce the possibility of RWIs:
- not swallowing water
- not swimming when you have diarrhea
- taking a shower before swimming
- washing hands after using the toilet or changing diapers
- washing children thoroughly, especially their bottoms, with soap and water before swimming
- adding supplemental disinfection to conventional chlorination and filtration methods (for pool operators)
Fireworks Safety Tips
You might be out celebrating this Fourth of July or throughout the summer. If setting off fireworks is legal in your area and on your agenda, be careful! To help you celebrate safely, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following safety tips:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned.
- Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
More info about healthy swimming is available at:
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