Too much exposure to intense heat and the potential threats it poses to the health and safety of children

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Line drying of clothes under the scorching heat of the sun can be done in a matter of minutes, but the direct heat of the sun could fade their colors just as quickly.

Summertime is often considered by most people as the time to have fun, excitement, relaxation, outdoor activities, and sightseeing the beautiful sceneries of the countryside. But, although these things may have a positive impact to an individual, they carry risks as well. Most of these risks are heat-related when an individual is having too much exposure to intense heat.

It is during the hot weather days that we are sweating a lot. Well, that’s a good thing. Sweating is the human body’s way of cooling itself down. That’s why it’s advisable to drink more water and other fluids in order to replenish the water lost through sweating and to also prevent dehydration.

Heat-related illnesses usually surfaced during the hot weather days or summertime and the most vulnerable ones or people at the highest risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, are the elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness or chronic diseases. Heat-illness could be categorized into these three:

  • Heat exhaustion. It is a heat-related illness often manifested with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and headache. To treat someone who is suffering from this condition is to immediately move him or her to a cool environment, fan the body and remove excess clothing, and placing ice over the groin and underarm areas.
  • Heat cramps. It would occur with mild dehydration and the depletion of salt in the blood. They’re usually felt in the legs, calves, and ankles. This condition could be relieved by stretching the muscles along with hydrating the body with drinks containing electrolytes solution.
  • Heat stroke. It is a medical emergency and considered as the most dangerous of the three. A person suffering from heat stroke manifests with symptoms like dry but hot skin, rapid pulse, and difficulty in breathing. It may also be accompanied by severe neurologic disturbances. Bring the victim to the nearest hospital immediately.

The most common to all heat-related illnesses is dehydration. Preventing it is a must. When a person is feeling thirsty, he’s already dehydrated by two to three percent.

So thirst is not the best indicator for dehydration. The best way to prevent dehydration is for a person to drink more water than usual during hot weather days involving active outdoor activities. Parents must encourage their children to drink as many as twelve glasses of water a day.

During the hot weather days, skin disorders are also common among children. This is due to the fact that, according to a Pediatric study, younger children’s skin has a higher pH, less fatty acid content, increased susceptibility to water loss and absorption, and thermal instability. Children are prone to skin disorders because, as what their skin’s natural physiologic features may be worsened by heat, they tend to scratch more and moisturize less.

Sunburn, miliaria, impetigo, and intertrigo are the most common of these heat-related skin disorders. When kids are being exposed to the scorching heat of the sun unprotected for very long hours, they got sunburns. Sunburns, by the way, are first degree burns due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

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How to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner with the birth of your baby

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THREESOME. A family dinner date taken two years ago.

For first time parents, their baby’s birth marks the transformation from a couple into a threesome. Such a change is good since it could expand their horizons while, at the same time, focusing on the new family unit they have created. It is also a time for greater adjustments taking place, keeping your cool, developing tolerance for frustration, and a case of balancing act like, for example, how to keep the intimate relationship between husband and wife fresh while they have to spend so much time in meeting the needs of their baby.

Like a beautiful flower in the garden, a family grows together well over the years on unconditional love, patience, understanding, trust, perseverance, faith, hope, and communication. The birth of an eagerly anticipated baby is just the beginning. You could build on this miraculous start a strong foundation, and one which allows you to invest in a long and happy future as a close knit family.

Every relationship has its own unique challenges. How a husband and his wife, in this particular case, handle the transition in their lifestyle could bring them closer together as a couple. Here are few but important suggestions on how to maintain a healthy relationship with your partner:

ALWAYS KEEP LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN

This is very important. When either of the husband or wife could talk about their feelings, it is one best way to connect to the other person. It prevents assumptions and misunderstandings that would most likely occur between two people who shuts up or closes door.

MAKE TIME TO BE ALONE

Yes, you have to make time to be alone with your partner or for the two of you to go for a date or meet with friends without your baby. You could leave your baby to a trusted nanny or a relative staying with you for at least an hour so both of you could go out dating. Make time to be like when you’re still boyfriends and girlfriends.

MAKE A THREESOME BONDING

The time you’re spending with your partner and baby, is worth every second of it. You could schedule relaxation with the three of you together like walking in the park, a family picnic, or sitting quietly in your living room.

ALWAYS SHOW KINDNESS

You have to speak kindly to your spouse. Aside from having to express your kindness verbally, you have to also express it through your actions. Someone once said that kindness, whether in words or actions, are more healing to a sinking heart than balm or honey.

Why did you water the plants, Son

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My son, Nathaniel, who would be turning four years old this coming August, was seen watering the plants in this picture.

What’s in the summertime that we both love and hate? Would there be something special it has to offer making it the most important season of the year? Or would it be no different from the summers of our past.

I was surprised by the thoughtfulness of my son, Nathaniel, who would be turning four years old this coming August, when I saw him holding a plastic dipper scoop and watering the plants. I water the plants regularly, one in the morning and another one at dusk, except this morning. I didn’t say a word, but I just watched him do what he pleased.

I could tell from the look on his face that he meant business of what he’s doing. This summer is one that is special to me, I told myself. Then it’s time to intervene. “Why did you water the plants, Son?” I asked him. “Because you failed to water them this morning,” he said.

How thoughtful of him. And it bothered me not to tell him the truth about it anymore. It rained in earnest last night that the ground was still wet in the morning and I’m pretty sure the plants absorbed enough water from last evening’s rainfall. It was the first real rain for this summer.

Childhood memories flashed back on my mind. The summer of my youth—those simple and timeless joys of simply walking barefoot in the grasses, watched fellow kids run through an open field, got dirty, and to feel the warm breeze wafted through and touching our innocent faces. Summer is finally here but this one was different from the rest of summers I’ve been through.

This was different because I am a father now. Nathaniel may not come to experience exactly just the same things I had during my childhood but, right here and now, he was just like me. I looked at him and wondered what dreams he would be dreaming, what mountains he would climbing, and what joys he would be having.

Watching him grow is the delight of my life.

Eight life lessons you could learn from observing a spider

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This is a spider and it’s more than just what you think about it.

One morning in April, as I raked the falling dried leaves of trees in our backyard into a pile, I noticed that something was crawling and hiding inside the space of a one particular leaf’s wrinkle. I tried to open the curled portion of the leaf and amazed to see an eight-legged, air-breathing arthropod equipped with chelicerae and a fang that injects venom. It was a spider.

I then called on my three-year-old son, Nathaniel, and introduced him to one of nature’s amazing creatures. Naturally, his curiosity was piqued as he watched the tiny creature closely and intently. “Papa Nap, what’s this?” he asked. “A spider,” I told him. “Wow,” he said with so much joy and excitement.

It brought back memories from the past, when I was a lot younger, on how this tiny creature opened my eyes to a window of truth and discovery by changing my way of looking at things. Sure, I’ve been seeing spiders many times already but you had to see it differently if you want to find out what’s beyond the surface and what message it has to best convey to you. My son wouldn’t understand what it’s all about yet, though, but one day he, too, would.

Why I am bringing this topic here is simple: I wanted to tell people that spiders are more than just what we used to know about them. When you try to observe them closely, you will be able to see nature at its most awe inspiring. Here are eight life lessons you could learn from observing a spider:

ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK

In life, there are hard times you need to deal with: defeats, disappointments, failures, or setbacks. The spider is showing us how to handle all these things by starting over again each time. You can start over again, too, no matter how hard life has become and no matter how many times you tried and failed.

ABILITY TO SEEK NOT THE APPROVAL OF OTHERS

When the spider makes its web, it does not go around seeking the approval of what it has created. It does not crave recognition nor of awards from some architectural and design council in the insect world. It just focused on doing what needs to be done unmindful of what others may think or say.

ABILITY TO DO THINGS INDEPENDENTLY

A spider is known for always building its own web and on its own. Each one of us, just like the tiny but mighty spider, could as well build our dreams single-handedly. It doesn’t mean you would totally abandon the need to seek out other’s help or guidance forever. But the point is you have got to start it right on your own and the people who could truly help you with it would show up later.

ABILITY TO BECOME EXTRAORDINARY

If the spider is known to only build ordinary-looking webs, I wouldn’t even notice it in the first place. But lo and behold! It created a masterpiece each time. Not to mention the fact that such a beautiful network of silk web it has created is also used to catch its food by trapping its prey.

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A spider is more than just what you used to know about it.

ABILITY TO CONSTANTLY BUILD

In case you don’t still know it, a spider is capable of building its web every single day and for as long as it needs rebuilding or repairing. It never tires.

ABILITY TO DO THINGS DILIGENTLY

You would never have an idea how long it took the spider to build its web but it works diligently until it is done creating its masterpiece. A spider is showing us how it is like when we’re hardworking, diligent, and focused on what we’re doing. The results could be great.

ABILITY TO THINK BIG

A spider is known to build web a hundred times bigger than its size. Could you imagine that? It was impressive. The spider is demonstrating his ability to think big from the very beginning and in casting wide of its net.

ABILITY TO BELIEVE FOR WHAT IT IS CAPABLE OF DOING

Who would have thought that a spider’s web, though incredibly fragile at one point, and yet so strong at another. Yes, a spider knows what it is capable of spinning. It gets started and believes in its natural ability.

So if you think that you are so weak and unimportant so that you would never accomplish anything. Reflect. You need to take time to observe a spider and learn the lessons they could impact upon your life.

Seven first aid tips for sea urchin and jellyfish stings

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Nathaniel kept himself busy scrutinizing something in the sand after having done swimming under the scorching heat of the sun, in a sea filled with jellyfish.

The last time we were at the beach my wife, including my nephew and niece, complained about being bitten by something while they were keeping themselves busy swimming in the sea. It was with luck that my three-year-old son who was also swimming in the sea with them during that time was spared from a jellyfish sting.

Looking upon the portion of my wife’s hand she said was stung by a sea creature she still has to find out what, I had in mind it was from a jellyfish thing. She said it felt like her hand was electrocuted by a tiny thing.

Having studied about jellyfish in the past, I instructed them to prepare for the first aid treatment I’m going to demonstrate myself. Jellyfish, by the way, is naturally a free-swimming, gelatinous, and non-aggressive marine animal surrounded by tentacles. There are more than two hundred types of jellyfish.

The tentacles in a jellyfish are covered with sacs called “nematocytes” and these are filled with poison that could cause a painful or even, in some cases, life-threatening sting. Jellyfish could be found anywhere in the world but the most venomous type are spread throughout the Indo-Pacific and Australian waters. So here are the seven first aid tips for sea urchin and jellyfish stings:

  • Douse the affected area with vinegar or, if no vinegar available, baking soda. You could also rinse the tentacles off with sea water. Avoid using fresh water, any form of alcohol, and methylated spirits in an attempt to deactivate tentacles as these would only cause a rapid massive discharge of jellyfish nematocytes.
  • Try using tweezers in removing any sea urchin spines or jellyfish tentacles. You could also try applying a shaving cream and gently scrape the affected area with a razor to remove jellyfish stings. Applying melted wax to the injury is also a best alternative. Just allow the wax to set then peel it off so that the tiny spines could be removed.
  • Once the tentacles are removed, you have to immerse the affected area for thirty to ninety minutes in water as hot as the victim could tolerate. You could repeat this procedure if necessary.
  • Try scrubbing the wound with soap and water. Flush extensively with fresh water afterwards.
  • Never ever use tapes or bandages to close the wound.
  • If ever signs of infection, like a pus, redness or heat occur, it is best to use topical antibiotic ointment and apply it to the wound.
  • Oral antibiotics could be recommended by a physician for infection.

Seven ways parents could help their kids to stay active

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His own way of beating the summer heat: taking his shirt off.

Why is it important to be physically active? How much and what type of activity is required or recommended? How are you going to encourage your child to get active physically?

When you’re on a regular physical activity, you’ll get long term health benefits. Human beings are designed for movement and that they could benefit a lot from being physically active. That said, the more physical activity one is doing, the greater the health benefits.

There are lots of important reasons for children, adolescents, and the adult ones to engage in physical activities or exercises. You may consider the following:

  • It helps improve cardiovascular fitness.
  • It helps develop social skills.
  • It helps build self-esteem.
  • It helps build strong bones.
  • It helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • It helps one to relax and improves sleep.
  • It helps or aids in the development of physical skills such as coordination and balance.

When one is not physically active or leading a sedentary lifestyle, that person is more at risk for:

  • Getting obese
  • Getting heart disease
  • Getting sick of cancer
  • Getting type two diabetes
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having a stroke
  • Having high blood cholesterol

It is the role of parents to ensure that their children stay healthy by keeping them physically active. But how much and what type of activity is recommended? According to a recent study, a minimum of sixty minutes or one hour of physical activity every day is recommended for school-aged children and adolescents. It should consist of a variety of moderate to vigorous activities.

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My three-year-old son wants to reach a leaf from a tree by jumping towards it.

You may consider these seven ways to help your kids stay active:

  • Cut or limit the time spent on watching TV, DVDs, internet, and computer games.
  • Be a good role model to them by being active yourself.
  • Encourage, convince, or persuade them about the importance of physical activity and to make it a part of daily life.
  • Help your child develop physical skills, for example by walking or running together or by playing ball games with him.
  • Make sure to make physical activity as fun and as likable as possible. You have to encourage your child to find a sport he likes or enjoys.
  • Family outings and picnics should include physical activity.
  • Introduce them to traditional games of your childhood. It could stir up their interest in physical activity.

What every dad should know about andropause and how to combat it

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As men age, their testosterone naturally also decline.

When a man’s bioavailable testosterone decreases and estrogen rises, it leads to andropause. Starting age thirty, for most men, testosterone level drops. All men in this age group go through this hormonal decline although it may vary from person to person as some men’s testosterone levels dip lower than others.

As men age, their testosterone naturally also decline. It comes naturally with age, as one grows older. But in the case with andropause, levels of the male hormones called testosterone fall below the normal range for a given age.

Testosterone, by the way, is the hormone responsible for the maintenance and development of male characteristics and attributes like a broad shoulder and chest, deep voice, facial and body hair patterns, muscle mass, aggressiveness, and many more. After reaching the age of forty, there would be a decline in testosterone levels in men affecting their mental and physical well-being, including their virility. It would then become fairly common and its incidence increases as one ages.

A man who is experiencing andropause may have a number of symptoms which include:

  • Erectile dysfunction or weakness of erection
  • Thinning of bones
  • Insomnia or inability to sleep
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Decrease in energy or lethargy
  • Infertility
  • Muscle weakness and aches
  • Depression and irritability
  • Low libido

HOW TO COMBAT ANDROPAUSE NATURALLY

Physical exercise. A regular, high-intensity exercise, according to a study, could boost a man’s testosterone at optimal levels. Men who are between the age range of twenty-three and thirty-five and also those who are between fifty-eight and sixty-five years old engaging in heavy resistance training, according to a study, experienced a significant increase in their testosterone levels after exercise.

Give your brain a workout. If you’re taking care of your body, you also have to take good care of your brain. The brain which controls the entire system of your body, too, needs a workout in order for it to stay healthy and functioning well. Once a person, especially the older adult ones, is mentally active he would less likely to fall prey to early senility, infertility, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Selenium methionine supplementation. It is a powerful antioxidant and plays an essential role in the formation of important proteins in sperm. Selenium which is a micronutrient containing antioxidant properties can be found in many different foods. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, and both red and white meat are known to be rich sources of selenium.

Zinc supplementation. It is a micro-mineral considered to be absolutely essential for maintaining a man’s testosterone level. Zinc helps the reproductive processes and development of a male person, by which to include sperm formation, metabolism of testosterone, and sperm motility.

Load up on Indole-3 carbinol by eating cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables include kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, collard greens, and rutabagas. These vegetables contain Indole-3 carbinol which blocks estrogen production in the human body.

Estrogen, by the way, is a hormone responsible for development, maintenance, and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary s*x characteristics. Other anti-estrogen foods include red grapes, seeds, mushrooms, whole grains, pomegranates, and even green tea.