How do you react?
Bees, wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and fire ants all belong to the same order of insects, Hymenoptera, so their venoms cause similar reactions if you are stung or bitten.
People’s bodies react in one of three ways:
- 85-90% experience a small local reaction—pain, redness and some swelling just around the sting site.
- 10% experience what is called a “large local reaction”—pain, itching, redness and swelling extending well beyond the sting site, 4 to 6 inches or more. (This is me! When I was stung in the hand last year, my entire arm swelled up.)
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By July 5, most large communities have reported property damage—fires, mostly—and bodily damage—burns, missing fingers, blindness.
As a reminder to everybody to be careful around fireworks—my preference is to avoid them altogether—the San Diego Fire Department put together this great public service video demonstrating the danger of
If you want some pretty graphic reasons to stay away from fireworks, just go to YouTube and search for “fireworks injuries.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following tips to keep kids safe:
- Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, scars, and even death.
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Few summer ailments are as common as sunburns.
Prevention is key, of course, and you can read my previous posts on using sunscreens and how to save money on them.
But if you or your kids get a sunburn, here are some simple steps you can take to stop the burning and promote healing.
You don’t need to buy a bunch of special products. I do keep an inexpensive bottle of aloe vera gel in my medicine cabinet as one of my basic first aid supplies.
Tips to treat sunburns
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An ugly problem with an ugly name—hallux valgus
Last summer I noticed I had the beginning of a small bunion.
Horrified, I wanted to find out if there was anything I could do to keep it from becoming bigger, uglier and more painful.
Anything except surgery. The last thing I want is foot surgery.
I also wanted to know how to prevent a bunion from developing in my other foot.
But I had to admit that I knew next to nothing about the lowly bunion, so I had to do a little research first.
Who gets bunions?
A bunion … Continue reading
Spring and allergy eyes
I love the sunny days of early spring when the trees are in flower…but then my allergies kick in.
I don’t mind the runny nose and sneezing so much. I can use my neti pot to keep the pollen out of my nose.
But I’ve had a harder time treating the allergy eyes—the itchy, red, watery, ugly eyes that are the byproduct of all that seasonal pollen floating in the air.
Another name for allergy eyes is allergic conjunctivitis.
Try some simple treatments
I can’t avoid spring flowers, but I’ve finally (after many years of suffering) … Continue reading
I just learned that my state, Washington, is one of several that is experiencing an outbreak of “super-lice”, or lice that are resistant to the traditional pyrethrum-based treatments (Rid contains pyrethrin; Nix contains permethrin).
Super-lice aside, the common louse has been increasingly resistant to the standard over-the-counter products for many years. Which begs the question: Why are Nix and Rid still the recommended first line of treatment by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)??
Probably because there are few other tested and FDA-approved methods.
So what should parents do? Let’s look at the options.
There are basically three ways … Continue reading
Cases of food poisoning, or food-borne illnesses, have been on the rise.
A lot of media attention was on the restaurant chain Chipotle recently because of an outbreak of the potentially deadly bacteria E. coli.
But it seems there is always a story in the news about contaminated foods, food recalls and outbreaks of the most common culprits of food poisoning: E. coli, salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A.
As the health news website Medscape reports:
Contaminated-food recalls in 2015 were on pace to exceed those from 2014, with bacteria discovered in everything from ice cream to spinach. Companies in
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Last month, a medical advisory group to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted “overwhelmingly” to limit the sale of codeine products without a prescription and advised “drugs containing codeine should not be used to treat children or the majority of teens suffering from pain or a cough.” [my emphasis]
I knew you could buy codeine painkillers and cough syrups in Canada, but apparently you can in 28 states, as well. The FDA hasn’t acted on the advisory committee’s recommendation yet, so these products are still available over the counter.
Parents—be especially cautious when buying cough or cold medications … Continue reading
Did you ever stop to wonder how the skin of your lips differs from the skin on the rest of your face?
The skin over your lips is very thin and highly vascular, hence their typical “vermilion” or red color. Your lips also have more nerve endings, making them very tactile and sensitive.
These anatomical differences make our lips attractive and nice for kissing, but they also make our lips vulnerable to dryness, sunburn and chemical sensitivities.
Painful and unattractive, chapped lips are especially common in the fall and winter because of the dry, cold air outside, the dry, warm … Continue reading
Do you suffer from dry, red, or itchy eyes?
Dry eyes are really common, especially in the late fall and winter when we spend more time in the dry indoor air.
But did you know the eye drops you use might actually be making your eyes look and feel worse?
Like so many over-the-counter (OTC) products, there are dozens of eye drops from which to choose. How do you know which is best? You can save money and get a more helpful product by understanding what you really need from an eye drop.
As always, ignore the marketing claims on … Continue reading