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Exercising in Florida’s Summer Heat

By Jana Griffin – Orange County IFAS/Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent

Living in Florida has its perks with lots of opportunities to enjoy exercise outside with access to beaches, walking trails, and parks. As you are encouraged to take advantage of these many opportunities, please be cautious of the heat and the damage it can cause to our bodies. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are just a few conditions that can happen in areas that have high heat and humidity. Signs and symptoms can range from light headedness, nausea, confusion, fatigue, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death. This summer, as we continue to enjoy the outside pleasures our wonderful sunshine state has to offer, please remember to follow these simple tips to make it a safe, memorable and happy summer for all.

HEAT

Hydration– Drink plenty of fluids and carry a bottle of water wherever you go. Make sure to drink more fluids than you are losing.

Electrolytes– In cases of prolonged sun exposure and fluid loss from sweating, remember to replace electrolytes. This can easily be done by consuming a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade.

Appropriate clothing– Wear clothing that is light in color to help reflect sunlight. Choose material that wicks moisture away from the skin, allowing for quick evaporation and helping your body cool.

Time– Consider the time of day when choosing outside fitness activities. Morning time before 10 and afternoon time after 3 are better options as times between 10 and 3 are typically the hottest of the day.

If you choose physical activity options outside, these tips will help you continue achieving your fitness goals and remain safe. Always listen to your body and discontinue all activities if you begin to feel any of the above symptoms.

Spring Cleaning? Donate to your School’s Clinic

Spring is in the air and it’s time to do your Spring cleaning. Many of our school clinics can use a few items to have on hand when needed. Consider donating clothing, unopened sanitary items (deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, and soap) and other items your specific school needs (ask your school nurse) . Please keep in mind that donated items need to be in good condition, clean and within OCPS dress code.

Contact your school nurse to make a donation.

Winter Safety Tips

healthy children

Adapted from Healthy Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm.

What to Wear

  • Dress infants and children warmly for outdoor activities. Several thin layers will keep them dry and warm.woolworths-kids-winter-clothes-6 (1)
    Don’t forget warm boots, gloves or mittens, and a hat.
  • The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions.
  • Blankets, quilts, pillows, bumpers, sheepskins and other loose bedding should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping enviroment because they are associated with suffocation deaths and may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sleep clothing like one-piece sleepers or wearable blankets is preferred.
  • If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be thin and tucked under the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby’s chest, so the infant’s face is less likely to become covered by bedding materials.

 

Winter Health

  • If your child suffers from winter nosebleeds, try using a cold air humidifier in the child’s room at night. Saline nose drops or petrolatum jelly may help keep nasal tissues moist. If bleeding is severe or recurrent, consult your pediatrician.
  • Many pediatricians feel that bathing two or three times a week is enough for an infant’s first year. More frequent baths may dry out the skin, especially during the winter.
  • Cold weather does not cause colds or flu. But the viruses that cause colds and flu tend to be more common in the winter, when children are in school and are in closer contact with each other. Frequent hand washing and teaching your child to sneeze or cough into the bend of her elbow may help reduce the spread of colds and flu.
  • Children 6 months of age and up should get the influenza vaccine to reduce their risk of catching the flu. It’s not too late to get the vaccine! Around 80% of all influenza illness generally occurs in January, February, and March.

Sun Protection

  • The sun’s rays can still cause sunburn in the winter, especially when they reflect off snow. Make sure to cover your child’s exposed skin with sunscreen and consider using sunglasses.

Fire Protection

  • Winter is a time when household fires occur. It is a good time to remember to:
  • Buy and install smoke alarms on every floor of your home
  • Test smoke alarms monthly
  • Practice fire drills with your children
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector outside bedrooms
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that could burn, and turn them off when leaving the room or sleeping.