Archive for July 15th, 2013


Extreme heat is to arrive Sunday and stick around into the middle of next week.

High temperatures in the upper 80s to near 90 degree are forecast across the region Sunday, but with humidity in the mid- to upper-60s, the heat index — a measure of what the temperature “feels” like — could reach 92 degrees. Such warmth has prompted an “Extreme Heat Alert” for the region from The Weather Channel. (Official heat warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when the heat index reaches 100 degrees.)

It is important to remember that periods of high heat often coincide with high UV indexes. Be sure to protect yourself from the sun, and also remember to have liquids readily on hand in order to stay hydrated during periods of high heat.

When the index approaches 100 degrees it can affect outdoor activities and elevate the risk for heat-related illnesses, especially for heat sensitive persons.

Limit your exposure to heat outside if possible today and make sure to drink plenty of fluids.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water.

Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 911.

The National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures of “near 90” degrees through Wednesday and mid- to upper-80s on Thursday.

The potentially uncomfortable conditions are of particular concern to those most prone to heat distress, including the elderly, infants and young children, people with respiratory ailments or chronic medical conditions, and those who are working or exercising outdoors.

In the case of individuals who may be homebound, it is important to encourage a buddy system where relatives, neighbors and friends check to see how the person is coping and if they need help.

Health officials note the following key points:

  • Minimize, if possible, strenuous activity and exercise, especially during the sun’s peak hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Exercise during early morning hours or in the evening–when the temperatures tend to be lower.
  • Drink at least 2-4 glasses of water per hour during extreme heat, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
  • If possible, stay out of the sun and seek air-conditioned settings. The sun heats the inner core of your body, which may result in dehydration. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine, or go to a building with air conditioning (such as libraries, malls, supermarkets, or friends homes).
  • If you must go outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor (SPF) rating of at least 15 and a hat to protect your face and head. When outdoors, wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Cover as much skin as possible to avoid sunburn and over-warming effects of sunlight on your body.
  • Never leave children, pets or those who require special care in a parked car or other vehicles during periods of intense summer heat. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach over 140 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. Exposure to such high temperatures can kill within a matter of minutes.
  • Make an effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially the elderly, infants and young children or others with special needs.
  • Make sure there is enough water and food for pets and limit their exercise during periods of extreme temperatures.

To help you recognize heat-related health issues, the state Department of Health advises of these conditions and symptoms:

  • Heat Stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke can be life threatening. Body temperature can rise and cause brain damage; death may result if the individual is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red, and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse, and shallow breathing. A cold bath or sponge can provide relief and lower body temperature.
  • Heat Exhaustion: While less dangerous than heat stroke, heat exhaustion poses health concerns and it most often occurs when people exercise too heavily or work in warm, humid places where body fluids are lost. Signals include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness and exhaustion. If symptoms occur, move the victim out of sun, and apply cool, wet cloths.
  • Sunburn: Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. Signals include redness and pain; in severe cases, swelling of skin, blisters, fever, and headaches can occur. Ointments can be a relief for pain in mild cases. A physician should see serious cases. To protect yourself, wear sunscreen with a high sun protector factor rating (SPF) of at least 15. Always re-apply sunscreen after periods of heavy sweating or swimming.
  • Heat Cramps: Muscular pains and spasms are often caused by heavy exertion. Loss of water and salt from sweating causes cramping. Signals are abdominal and leg muscle pain. Relief can be firm pressure on cramping muscles, or gentle massages to relieve cramping. Remember to hydrate often while exercising or working outdoors.
  • Heat Rash: Skin irritation that looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. Try to move the person to a cool place, keep the affected area dry, and have the person use talcum powder to increase comfort.

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I've become my parents

Back from camp cartoon

Son, parents love to tell parents-to-be to get ready because everything changes when you have kids.  Well, duh.  Raise your hand if you thought you could bring a baby home from the hospital, set the quiet little bundle in the corner next to the keg and go help the band finish setting up.

I thought not.

Of course things change when you have a kid. But at some point, that kid will grow up and if you’re really lucky (and, increasingly, a statistical anomaly), that kid will move out and start a life of his own. These days, of course, he’ll probably be back within a week or two, but still, there’s that brief moment when parents get to be empty-nesters.

We won’t officially get to be empty-nesters for at least another 6 years, but this week, your mom and I are getting a little empty-nest preview; it’s day number…

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Parents may leave their children at risk of developing cataracts in later life by exposing them to the sun’s rays without giving them appropriate eye protection, according to new research by the Royal College of Optometrists. 

The study found that 76 per cent of children do not wear sunglasses when out in the sun. Those with light-coloured eyes are most at risk from sun damage and those with blue eyes should always wear sunglasses, the experts advise. 

UV rays from sunlight can damage the retina and the lens of the eye and can lead to long-term damage such as cataracts and  age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. 

Optometrist Dr Susan Blakeney says: ‘The younger you can get children wearing sunglasses, the better. Wearing them should be part of the routine along with sun lotion, especially on the beach, where sand and water reflects UV rays up into the eyes. Make sure the glasses fit properly; not too tight or falling off, which defeats the point. A large wraparound style, with a sun hat, makes sure light doesn’t come in the top.’ 

The College recommends glasses with a CE mark for quality and UV400 protection, which absorbs all wavelengths of UV. 

Below are five pairs that offer protection. 

Childrens Sunglasses

1. Baby Banz  –  £10.75  (above)

For infants and children aged up to five years. Adjustable neoprene strap ensures a secure fit.



Childrens Sunglasses

2. Julbo Looping II Sunglasses  –  £18.69  (above)

For children aged up to two. Symmetrical frame means they can be worn any way up.


Childrens Sunglasses

3. Boots Soltan Kids  –  £12.99 (above)

For children aged three and over. Wraparound style offers added protection. 


Childrens Sunglasses

4. i kids Little Bug  –  £7.80 (above)

Rubber frames mean they will not break, for children under five years of age. 


Childrens Sunglasses

5. Diamanté Tortoiseshell Sunglasses  –  £6 (above)

For over-eights. Oversized lens for extra coverage. 


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Literary Creature


I’m sure everyone has heard of Beatrix Potter at one time in their life, but probably have no associations to her except the character of Peter Rabbit. She was born in July of 1866 into a well off family. Back then, children were taught by a governess and Beatrix was no exception to the rule. Her love of watercolor led to her many drawings of her animals, insects, archaeological places, and fungi. Her drawings were so attentive to detail that her illustrations of fungi are still used today! She adored animals and had many different ones but favored her mice and rabbits. In all of her illustrations, notice that even though the mice have clothing on, they are still anatomically correct. When she began to lose her eyesight, she let her second love of farming move in front. She adored the country life and when she passed she left her…

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sunny glass

You see it in color, 
You see it in black and white, 
You see it differently, 
Only through the sunglasses.
The sunglasses are magical, 
They turn black and white into color, 
And color into black and white.
How does this happen? 
No one even knows.
I ask so many questions, 
About these mysterious sunglasses, 
But I can’t crawl deep enough, 
to find the far away answers.
I have asked so many questions, 
I no longer have anymore, 
They will never be answered, 
This mystery will never be solved.
Yes, the sunglasses, 
I have them still with me, 
They turn black and white into color, 
And color into black and white.

Lauren Meredith Gould

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Don’t you think the sun is bright?
I wonder where it goes at night?
Does it sleep or does it hide?
Or is the moon its other side?

Does it hide behind the hills?
Late at night as outside chills?
Do you think it needs to rest?
From all that warming it does best?

Could it even have a home?
Maybe in London or even in Rome?
Or does it just float around?
Moving slowly from town to town?

Yes, I think it must do that!
After all the earth’s not flat.
So the sun goes round and round
Spreading sunshine on the ground!

©2002 Gareth Lancaster

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