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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If in doubt, don’t go out! Rip Currents are Dangerous



rip-current- break the grip of ripIt’s beach season and my kids are getting braver with their newly acquired swimming skills but it also made me realize that with their increased water skills and confidence comes increased risks as they venture further into the water and so we’ve been on a but of a mission to learn more about the importance of learning to “read” the ocean in particular the often misnamed rip current (not rip tide).
Why Rip Currents are Dangerous
Rip currents are the leading surf hazard for all beach   goers. They are particularly dangerous for weaker or non-swimmers. Rip current speeds are surprisingly fast, typically 1-2 feet per second however, speeds as high as 8 feet per second have been measured–this is faster than Usain Bolt can sprint! So beware rip currents can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Over 100 drownings are due to rip currents every year in the United States and more than 80% of water rescues on beaches are due to rip currents.
Rip currents can occur at any surf beach with breaking waves, including the Great Lakes
How to Identify Rip Currents
Rip currents are often not easy to identify, But it’s vital to be aware of this serious beach hazard. Look for any of the following clues:ripcurrent2
  • channel of churning, choppy water
  • an area having a notable difference in water color
  • a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
  • a break in the incoming wave pattern
Tip: Polarized sunglasses make it easier to see the rip current clues provided above.rip current 3
 Note – rip currents are changeable and can form at any given time. Lifeguards will often post flags to alert swimmers of the risk of rip currents at a beach, but the currents can come and go without any warning.
Learn how to swim! 
  • Never swim alone, If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches
  • Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach.
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
  • Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself:  face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.rip current
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1 . Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
IMPORTANT Rip currents do not pull people under the water–-they pull people away from shore. Drowning deaths occur when people pulled offshore are unable to keep themselves afloat and swim to shore. This may be due to any combination of fear, panic, exhaustion, or lack of swimming skills.
For more info check out NOAA, National Weather Service

Friday, June 21, 2013

The One Time You Don't Want Your Kids To Be Quiet -Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning!


  
In many child drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here’s what to look for.
Children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.
Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. Many of us have learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you know what to look for whenever people enter the water. Usually a child will drown without making a sound. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life.
The Instinctive Drowning Response—so named by Francesco A. Pie, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the No. 2 cause of accidental death in children, ages 15 and under - of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, many of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In some of those drownings, the adult will actually watch the child do it, having no idea it is happening. * Drowning does not look like drowning—Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene magazine, described the Instinctive Drowning Response like this:
  1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you all right?” If they can answer at all—they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents—children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From Ouch to Ahhhh – Great Ways to Treat Sunburn



stop sunburn I know that usually you are very good about sun protection but even the most sun savvy of use sometimes find ourselves looking like a lobster after a long day at the beach, it hurts and you need relief now! Well fear not I’m here with some great ways to ease the burn so you can finally put your arms down!  There are many ways you can get a sun burn, most commonly when the sun doesn’t remind us of it’s strength on cloudy days.
An overcast day at the beach can turn you into a red monster the kids will most likely run from if you’re not careful!  Painful blisters, peeling and restless nights attempting to sleep while levitating, ahh yes, we have all tried to sleep without our burned bodies touching the bed! Since we aren’t magicians, let’s focus on a real solution! Check out below for some great tips on how to treat sunburn!
How to Naturally Treat Your Sunburn
If you’re really suffering, try emerging yourself in an oat meal bath.  Yes I said oatmeal! Simply take one cup of oatmeal (plain) and grind it in your coffee grinder. Make sure that it’s the consistency of powder. Run a cool bath, hot is not necessary and from personal experiences, I don’t recommend it!  Pour the powdered oatmeal into the bath and swish around until milky.  Soak for at least 20 minutes and when you get out, try air drying or patting dry with something very soft.  A towel may be too rough and can cause pain. If necessary do this twice a day.
Cold Compress
If you can’t spend the day in the bathtub, you can also try soaking your shirt in cool water. Simply soak your shirt, ring it out and slip it on. The cool air from a fan makes this even more soothing! Make sure you drink lots of water because sun burns can actually dehydrate you and cause your skin to dry, furthering your pain.  Also as much as you want to pop any blisters, don’t! Blisters have healing properties that are actually helping the skin under the bump. Opening them is very painful and can cause infections and more irritation.
Moisturize
Because your skin loses so much moisture upon getting a sun burn, you’ll notice your skin is very dry.  Combine cold compresses and bath soaks and you may at this point, be looking like a prune. Aloe Vera is a great way to add some soothing action while moisturizing. If you don’t have any, try finding a moisturizer without alcohol.  For obvious reasons, alcohol can irritate the burn worsen the pain. As badly as your skin hurts, try to moisturize each time after bathing and when your skin starts feeling tight. That’s a sign your skin has soaked up the lotion and needs more.
Whether you look like a lobster, are as scary as a red monster or look like a sun soaked prune, there is relief.  If you can’t find relief in these natural remedies you can find items at the store designed to reduce inflammation and pain. If your sunburn is exceptionally bad consider making an appointment with your doctor.
Instant, Chemical-Free Sun Protection You Never Have To Reapply
50+UPF Sunny Sleevez
It’s important to keep your skin protected, wear clothing designed to block the sun, applying sunscreen at least every two hours and use items like a hat or sun shade to make sure this doesn’t happen to you again! There are great items on the market that can help you achieve sun protection now all you have to do is use them!  Don’t Fry-Day
What was your worst sunburn, how did you get relief?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Would You Buy A Sunscreen That Warned You To Avoid The Sun For A WEEK?



Shade Spencer Beach Big Island Hawaii WM PinterestBy now more and more of us are aware that we have to wait up to half an hour for our sunscreens to start working, but what if you had to WAIT A WEEK before going out in the sun!
Would you want to buy a sunscreen that warned you to stay out the sun for at least 7 days after applying it?
That’s a decision that many Canadians could soon be facing.
In 2012 the Canadian government’s health agency, proposed new sunscreen rules that would require sunscreens with retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A, to be labeled with a clear, strong warning:
“This product contains retinyl palmitate that may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Please limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards”
This label would be required on sunscreens containing more than a tenth of one percent retinyl palmitate, a powerful anti-aging chemical.  An FDA-sponsored study has linked this chemical to skin tumors and lesions in laboratory animals treated with the chemical, then exposed to sunlight.  As well, products containing vitamin A can irritate the skin and increase photosensitivity, as indicated by Canada’s proposed warning label.
If this law passes, Health Canada’s regulations would be considerably stronger than U.S. rules enforced by the federal Food and Drug Administration.  Consumers in both countries confront a similar dilemma.  The sunscreen market is confusing.  Laws requiring more stringent and accurate labeling and regulations have been pushed aside in favor of self regulation since the 70s!
Regulators have not issued rules that are up to date with the latest science on skin cancer and other disorders caused by excessive sun exposure.  Melanoma rates are rising. Many products currently available actually encourage people to spend longer in the sun believing themselves to be adequately protected, and misleading labels and advertisements perpetuate some of the worst myths.
The rules the Canadian government is considering would end some of the worst hype on sunscreen.  They would ban SPF values greater than 50+ and wet skin sprays, neither of which do what they claim.  Products that offer better protection from the less obvious but subtle long term damage of ultraviolet A rays would be labeled clearly something that has been standard in EU sunscreens for some years.
According to a Health Canada spokesperson, the agency plans to issue final rules “as quickly as possible.”
Because the lucrative Canadian market is a significant part of the g U.S. sunscreen business, a change in Canadian regulations could improve the quality of  U.S. sunscreens.
In 2013 U.S. companies have added retinyl palmitate to nearly 25 percent of all beach and sport sunscreens as well as other skin and lip products. EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends consumers “avoid sunscreen and skin products with retinyl palmitate until the industry can prove it is safe for sun-exposed skin”.
Health Canada has proposed to ban:
  • Sunscreens with SPFs greater than 50+ – numerous studies find that sunscreens with SPF values above 50 offer little additional sunburn protection and lead consumer to misuse them.
  • “Wet skin” sprays, marketed primarily for use on children. Neutrogena, Coppertone, CVS, Rite Aid and Aveeno, sell these products.  Even the wishy-washy  FDA has expressed doubts about the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen sprays
  • Adoption standard for ultraviolet A filtering
  •  Permission for sunscreen makers to add Mexoryl SX and Mexoryl XL — two superior sunscreen chemicals found in European products.  Better photostable UVA filtering, Sunscreen companies been seeking FDA permission to use these chemicals since 2007.
  • A ban on combinations of mineral and chemical filters without a more rigorous drug approval process. 
  • Disclosure of the specific type of nanomaterials used in mineral sunscreens, a move that could ensure that improper forms of these minerals are not added to products.
Canada’s efforts to improve sunscreen protection are a huge step in the right direction.  The FDA has been unable or unwilling to push through U.S. sunscreen rules that were first instigated when the Bee Gees were in the charts!
For these reasons, we switched to the most highly rated natural sunscreens as recommended by EWG as well as wearing UPF rated sun protection clothing which takes all the guess working out of sun protection and saves us time and $
If you want to check out how well your sunscreen measures up check out EWG’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreens which gives safety ratings to more than 1,400 sunscreens, moisturizers, lip products and makeup with SPF claims. Only 25 percent of the beach and sport sunscreens on this year’s market passing marks for sun protection and absence of toxic ingredients.  Even fewer daily moisturizers, makeups and lip products with SPF pass the EWG test.
 sunnysleevez.com

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How Often Should Your Reapply Sunscreen?



MAGIC SANDS STOPWATCHSkin Cancer awareness month helps us to focus on the details.  You may use sunscreen every time you go out, but do you know how long it protects you?  The time between apply and re-apply may be shorter then you think!
Going out to the beach without sunscreen, I’m sure you started to sun burn pretty quickly, maybe 15 to 20 minutes depending on your skin tone.  Those who have fair skin my burn faster than those who have a golden or olive skin tone.
Take into consideration the time of day and your activities to determine how often you should re-apply.  The hours between 10:00am and 4:00 pm, UV rays are much more intense. You may have to re-apply far more often, even if it’s cloudy. Keep an eye out for sunburn, if your cheeks or forehead start turning a rosy hue go ahead and re-apply and make sure you put an even layer on each time.  For those with sensitive skin, try using achemical free sunscreen, this should help prevent rashes.
Most sunscreens recommend that you apply every 90 to 120 minutes; however that time is reduced if you swim, sweat or towel off.  If you start to burn sooner then it’s time to get slathering.  Also remember that the higher the SPF does not mean it lasts longer, SPF 30 is recommended for everybody and SPF 50 for those with fair skin, but to receive that protection you must apply it in sufficient quantities and at least every two hours..
What SFP do you use? How often do you re-apply?
sunnysleevez.com