Healthy Concerns By David McAtee, Prescott, AZ email@example.com Issues concerning health and preparedness in Yavapai County brought to you by the Yavapai County Community Health Services, Community Relations and Public Information Officer.
Friday, June 21, 2013
Summertime means fun for the whole family. Let's keep it that way by remembering these tips:
Fire season is here and experts say there is an abundance of fuel out there still waiting for a reason to ignite. When you have a fire outside, make sure you are in control of the fire; and have a plan for putting it out quickly. If you haven't noticed we get more wind here in Yavapai County than the "Windy City" and fires can get out of control quickly, spread faster and go farther than your hose can reach. Currently the only fires that are allowed are in Gas BBQ grills.
Pools are great fun for as long as you know how to swim. Unfortunately there are pool related deaths in this state every year that could have been prevented. I personally experienced a near drowning when a neighbor kid dove into his own pool and was quickly followed by a cousin who couldn't swim. If you don't know CPR, this is a great opportunity to learn and be sure to talk to your children about pool safety.
For those of us who don't have a pool, dehydration is even more of a concern as the temperature goes up. You may have heard in Arizona "It's a dry heat." That means you need to keep drinking water, even if you aren't thirsty. An average of 8, 8-ounce cups of water a day is a good place to start. About 60% of your total body weight is water and requires a constant resupply to keep working. Drinks with caffeine and alcohol can actually dehydrate you and should never be your only source of fluids.
It may be a dry heat but believe it or not every year we have our share of disease carrying mosquitoes. The Yavapai County Environmental Health Inspectors find mosquitoes with West Nile Virus (WNV) every year. Last year we didn't have a confirmed human case of WNV but that doesn't mean we didn't have one. WNV can make you sick, just how sick is up to your immune system. All you have to do to reduce the amount of mosquitoes, and your likelihood of getting WNV, is remove standing water from around your property and report any stagnant water you see in your neighborhood. It only takes an inch of water and three days for mosquitoes to start breeding.
And if the dangers of mosquitoes weren't enough we are finding Africanized bees in Yavapai County. Also known as "Killer Bees" for their aggressive nature, the sting of the Africanized Honey Bee is no more potent than any other variety of honey bee and they are similar in appearance. What makes Africanized honey bees more dangerous is that they are more easily provoked, quick to swarm, attack in greater numbers, and pursue their victims for greater distances. An Africanized bee colony can remain agitated longer and may attack up to a quarter of a mile away from the hive. If you find a bee hive while out on a hike, stay away from it and if it is in your home call a professional to remove it.
Summer is meant to be fun, let's keep it that way by keeping our fires where they belong, watching kids around pools, and drinking plenty of water. Once the monsoon rains start, we need to keep an eye out for standing water and watch for bees on our hikes and around the house. Let's keep the FUN in FUN IN THE SUN.