When It’s Not Fun For Everyone …

Well, we have made it to July 4th weekend. And many are planning celebrations for the holiday. If you are one of those people, it’s important to remember that the usual activities aren’t fun for everyone. I don’t mean these are boring. I mean they can result in medical emergencies. Let’s talk about that …

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most large-scale fireworks displays have been cancelled. Which means that many will attempt to do their own. Fireworks effect many medical conditions. As beautiful as they are, fireworks release pollutants into the air. This in turn impacts our air quality. In fact, some of the chemicals dispersed by fireworks, such as aluminum, barium, cadium, dioxins, and rubidium, are radioactive and known carcinogens. For anyone, of any age, this can be a problem. Conditions like Asthma, Bronchitis and COPD can be worsened by breathing the particulate matter or PM in the air. Even smaller fireworks that are used at ground level (Sparklers, Firecrackers) can expose individuals to metallic fumes and create breathing difficulties. Fireworks can also have an impact on people who live with Hypertension, Heart conditions, Anxiety, Epilepsy and PTSD. They’re notoriously unsettling for pets, too.

Food can also cause problems, whether you are planning a backyard barbecue or a picnic. Look at your menu. Have you thought about your guests? Do any of them have food allergies? If the answer is “yes”, then make sure you have another option available. Diabetics will be happy to see fruit like fresh watermelon, on the table. Maybe, a crisp tossed salad? Carbs raise their blood-sugar. And nobody wants to serve food poisoning at their get-together. So, here’s a few tips to help avoid that: 

  • Avoid cross-contamination. Keep raw foods and cooked foods separate. Clean your work-surface after each use.
  • Without refrigeration or a heat source, perishables should not be left out more than two hours.
  • Always keep COLD food cold by using a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs. Keep hot food HOT, at or above 140 °F, on the grill or in insulated containers,a cold source such as ice or frozen gel packs. Keep hot food HOT, at or above 140 °F, on the grill or in insulated containers.
  • Packing drinks in a separate cooler is strongly recommended, so the food cooler isn’t opened frequently.
  • If you plan to marinate meat and/or poultry for several hours or overnight prior to the event, make sure to marinate them in the refrigerator.
  • To ensure safety, leftovers must be put in shallow containers for quick cooling and refrigerated to 40 ⁰F or below within two hours.

Last, but certainly not least, avoid large gatherings. It just isn’t safe, during a pandemic. Keep your get-togethers small. Nowadays, less really does equate to more. Practice social distancing. Wear face masks. You might even consider giving the patriotic-print ones as party gifts/favors. Yes, this is a short-notice for that idea. But many retailers are advertising them. They are available, just like flags, balloons, paper-goods, etc. So, decorate your home … your yard … and do it with a mask on. When it’s not fun for everyone, it’s not much of a celebration. Period. Take a moment to think about all of those you’ve invited to your July 4th festivities — make a list of their names and phone numbers. As morbid as this may sound today, if someone develops COVID-19 next week … your guests will need to be notified. That list will come in handy. 2020 remains, even in our moments of celebration, unusual.

Happy Fourth, y’all! Stay well!

 

 

Reference Links: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4220320/

https://healthcare-in-europe.com/en/news/the-health-impact-of-festival-fireworks.html

https://www.epilepsy.com/article/2014/3/fireworks-flags-video-games-and-driving-seizure-risks-and-prevention

Fireworks, Triggers, PTSD, and Veterans

Wrap up your celebration with fireworks, not food poisoning

https://www.lmh.org/news/2020-news/safely-celebrate-the-fourth-of-july-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

*Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

Asthma Breakthroughs …

Asthma is a pulmonary condition that causes the airways in your lungs to narrow and swell and produce additional mucus. As a result, your breathing becomes more difficult. It may also trigger coughing, wheezing and/or shortness of breath. For some patients, the effects are mild. For others, they are life-threatening. Asthma, like other chronic conditions, has no cure. But it can be managed. And today’s medical breakthroughs promise even greater manageability!

 

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Asthma, whether diagnosed in children or adults, is treated with a variety of options, i.e. medications, inhalers, bronchodilators, biologics, immunotherapy, intravenous corticosteroids, etc. What is used depends greatly upon the severity of the patient’s condition and how well they respond to the treatment.

Recently researchers at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, published their findings on the critical role that a protein (Caspase-11) plays in Asthma. While this research won’t offer any instant relief, it will no doubt pave the way for new medications to become available in 3-5 years. And that’s great news for Asthma sufferers.  For more information about Caspase-11, you can visit the links below. You may also want to talk to your doctor to get his or her medical opinion. The more that we can learn about any Chronic illness, the better prepared we become in treating it. With that preparedness comes more manageability and a better quality of life!

 

 

Reference Links:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20369660

https://www.aafa.org/asthma-treatment/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200226080629.htm

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-14945-2

Asthma Therapy May Receive a Boost from New Caspase-11 Finding

*Photo by Uwe Conrad on Unsplash