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BEWARE OF DOG -- Two million Americans, most of them children, were bitten by dogs last year. The worst offenders were Rottweilers and Akitas. Teach your children that to avoid being bitten if an aggressive dog approaches, let the animal sniff them, stay calm and avoid eye contact.
CHECK THAT BIKE HELMET -- To be sure that your, or your child's, bike helmet is on properly, tighten the straps until the helmet pads massage the scalp when the wearer opens their mouth. Make sure that the helmet touches all parts of the head, covers the forehead, and doesn't shift more than an inch in any direction when pushed. The straps that touch the skin shouldn't be uncomfortable. Remember, it could be the difference between a very serious accident and a very minor one. Not wearing one isn't worth the risk of a serious injury.
BE PREPARED -- Grandparents should have syrup of ipecac on hand when their grandchildren visit. Children can easily be poisoned at their grandparent's because older people often take several medications and may not lock them away. Ipecac induces vomiting but should be used only if a physician or poison-center operator tells you to do so.
INSECT BITES -- If you are subject to getting stung by insects you may have a zinc deficiency. In this case you may want to take a zinc supplement.
HEAVY ASPIRIN WARNING -- Heavy, long-term use of over-the-counter pain relievers - such as aspirin and acetaminophen - leads to 8% to 10% of chronic kidney failures. Taking these products only occasionally will help decrease your risk. Regular kidney-function tests are advised if you must take painkillers to control chronic pain. Just one more reason why you should be treating the cause of the pain and not the symptoms.
VITAMIN E & ASPIRIN -- Taking vitamin E supplements with aspirin or other anticoagulant drugs isn't recommended. Compounds in both the supplements and the drugs help thin the blood; taking the two together can thin it too much.
TIME FOR YOUR SHOTS? -- Besides a tetanus booster every 10 years, adults with certain medical problems, lifestyles or occupations may need other immunizations. For example: Those age 65 and older and younger people with heart and lung problems need flu shots and pneumonoccal vaccines. Health-care workers, police officers and fire fighters need the hepatitis-B vaccine.
EAR PIERCING INFO -- Before getting your, or your daughter's, ears pierced, wear clip-on, stainless-steel earrings for a few days. If itchiness or a rash develops, you have allergic tendencies and may have earlobe infections after piercing.
IF YOU NEED PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR, READ THIS -- If you engage in activities that require protective eye wear, you may want to make sure that they eye wear is polycarbonate. A recent study compared the impact resistance of lenses made of glass, allyl resin plastic, high-index plastic and polycarbonate. The lenses were pelted with air gun pellets, golf balls, tennis balls, lacrosse balls and baseballs. Glass, resin, and high-index plastic all shattered in typical impacts. The polycarbonate, however, withstood baseballs hitting it at 135 miles per hour! To make certain the eye wear is polycarbonate, look on the product label or ask your sporting goods dealer.
POISON IVY ALERT -- Urushiol, an oil in the sap of poison ivy, stays potent for over 100 years. If you've touched poison ivy, immediately flush the affected skin with lots of water, soap is unnecessary. You have 5-10 minutes before the urushiol begins to penetrate the skin. If you're unable to wash the area right away, you can try to leach the oil out of the skin within the first 4-6 hours. Pat on a solution of isopropyl alcohol and water, then rinse off with tepid water. If a rash develops, the best lotion for it is calamine lotion. Oatmeal soap and hot showers are also helpful. Avoid baths.
For prevention, drugstores carry creams that prevent urushiol from reaching the skin and cleansing products that unlock the oil from the skin before it causes a rash. Also in the works is a vaccine, which is good news to those who are extremely sensitive to poison ivy. It should take a lot of the itch out of summer chores.
FOR THOSE QUITTING SMOKING -- Keep nicotine patches out of the reach of children, who may believe they're Band-Aids and put them on their skin. The patches can poison children within 20 minutes, causing vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea. Even used patches pose a danger.
NSAID ULCERS -- Up to 20% of people who take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) develop ulcers, and many longtime users suffer digestive problems because the drugs can damage the stomach's protective coating. Choosing preparations with an enteric coating or taking your NSAID with an antacid may help prevent discomfort.
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