Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

Between swimming, vacations, and being able to spend time enjoying outdoor activities, the summer months are fun for everyone! We certainly hope that you take some time this year to get out and enjoy them with your friends and family.

That being said, the summer months also come with certain risks–sunburns, dehydration, or suffering from an injury while enjoying an outdoor activity.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want your family to stay safe, healthy, and happy. For that reason, we encourage you to check out some of our summer safety tips.

Water Safety

Family time at the pool, beach, lake, or water park should be fun.

Unfortunately, while water activities are a lot of fun, they can also be dangerous. Here are a few ways to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe around water.

Take swimming lessons—Swimming doesn’t come naturally to everyone and it’s certainly a skill that little ones should learn before diving headfirst into a pool, lake, or ocean. Community pools and places like the YMCA often offer swimming lessons. Join a class and brush up on your skills. And if you have kids, this is a great opportunity for them to learn water safety and how to swim.

Wear life jackets–Even the strongest swimmers should wear a life jacket when enjoying water activities such as boating, jet skiing, or tubing. Accidents can happen anytime. And, if for some reason, you ended up injured or exhausted and became unable to swim, a lifejacket would save your life.

Life jackets for small children are also a must…even if you’re just hanging out around the pool deck or dock at the lake. Drowning can occur in a blink of an eye. Protect your little one with a life jacket.

Don’t swim alone—Always enjoy water sports or a dip in the pool, lake, or ocean with a buddy. It’s important to have someone around in case you suddenly need help in the water.

Sun Safety

While the hot sun may feel good on our skin, it unfortunately has the potential to damage skin and even cause cancer.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your skin safe

Apply sunscreen—Anytime you go outside for an extended period of time, be sure to lather up with some sunscreen. If you’re sweaty or have been submersed in water, apply sunscreen more frequently as it can easily wash off—yes, even the waterproof sunscreens!

Wear a hat–Wearing a hat is an easy way to keep your face, scalp, and neck from burning. The skin on your face is particularly delicate, so it’s important to keep it safe and out of direct sunlight.

Limit your time outside—It’s important to take breaks during the day to get out of the sun. Keep watch of how much time you’re spending outside, and be sure to come in for cooldown breaks throughout the day.

Play Safety

There’s nothing better than a day of bike riding, hiking, or playing in the yard. But there are precautions you should take, even in the safety of your own neighborhood to ensure your kids stay safe while at play.

Wear helmets/safety gear—Every year people fall off bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc., and end up with broken bones, head injuries, and bumps and bruises. To prevent serious injuries, always hear helmets and other safety gear like knee pads.

Stay hydrated—An intense game of basketball or tag in the hot summer sun is enough to dehydrate you. Make sure you and your kids drink a glass of water every hour or so to stay hydrated and healthy.

Avoid heat stroke—Heat exhaustion can be very serious. Before you end up getting sick or passing out, make sure you take rest breaks in the shade, cool off inside, and drink plenty of water.

Do you have any summer safety tips? Share them in the comments below!

5 Fun Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

What’s not to love about summer? Bright sunshine, weekend trips to the beach, and indulging in cool treats like ice cream make this season by far one of the best.

The only downside…extreme heat.

We’ll take hot weather over cooler temperatures any day. But, after weeks of scorching heat, we’re ready for a cooldown.

Good thing there are a lot ways to keep cool when the temperatures are just too hot. If you find yourself stuck inside due to the heat this year, give our following favorite activities a try.

Go for a Swim

Swimming is a classic summertime activity.

Living in Charleston, we are lucky to have access to beautiful beaches that are perfect for swimming. If you live in Charleston, or plan on visiting, we recommend you go for a dip at the following beaches…

  • Folly Beach
  • Isle of Palms
  • Sullivan’s Island

If you don’t live near a beach, grab a summer membership to a local pool or gym that has a pool. Places like the YMCA are typically very affordable and even offer swim classes for kids and adults that want to fine-tune their swimming skills.

Whether you’re at the beach or pool, don’t forget to pack lots of sunscreen to keep your skin protected! It’s possible to get sunburn even when you’re in the water swimming, so be careful and always apply sunscreen!

Create a Cool Body Mist

Regardless of how hot it is outside, chores like mowing the lawn, gardening, and walking the dog still have to get done.

If you’re about to head outdoors for a few hours in the heat, we recommend bringing a cooling body mist spray with you. The following recipe is safe and chemical-free, and will help keep your body temperature cool.

Peppermint Body Mist Spray

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 peppermint tea bags

Directions:

1. Boil 2 cups of water.

2. Steep 2 peppermint tea bags in the boiling water for 10 minutes.

3. Pour peppermint tea into a spray bottle and set in fridge. Do NOT add any sweetener or sugar.

4. Let peppermint tea sit in fridge for at least 1 hour.

5. Mist on body while you are outside to keep you feeling fresh and cool.

Go to a Movie

Movie theaters are notorious for cranking up the AC. That makes them the perfect place to cool down and get out of the hot sun.

Get your friends or family together, and make time to finally go to that movie you’ve been dying to see.

Treat your family to popcorn for dinner. (It’s ok to have some fun and have a treat for dinner every one in a while!) Not only will the kids love it, but you’ll be able to avoid turning your oven on to cook dinner when you get home so you can keep your house cool.

Set Up a Sprinkler

Call us old-fashioned, but there’s nothing better than running through a sprinkler on a hot summer day. And yes, adults, this activity is for you too!

If you don’t have a sprinkler, take a trip to your local garden center or home store. You can pick up a decent sprinkler for under $20 that can be used all summer long.

When you get home, simply change into a swimsuit, attach a garden hose to the sprinkler, and enjoy!

Indulge in an Icy Treat

Last, but certainly not least, is our very favorite way to stay cool—indulging in a tasty, ice-cold, refreshing treat.

If you’re an ice cream lover, head down to your local ice cream parlor. Love slushies? Take a trip to your nearest gas station. Or if you’re more of a smoothie connoisseur, grab your favorite fruits, juices, and yogurt, and whip up a refreshing smoothie.

Delish!

What’s your favorite way to cool down in the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Protecting Your Skin in the Summer Sun

<alt="sunrise"/>Skin cancer is a major concern among adults every year. In 2013, there were over 82,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States alone. Additionally, last year there were roughly 12,600 skin cancer-related deaths.

Skin cancer can start from an irregularity in your skin and develop into something more serious. It’s possible to keep your skin safe from the sun. Before getting into those options, like sunscreen and protective clothing, here are some skin cancer warning signs to look for:

Warning Signs of Skin Problems

The best way to detect skin problems is to pay close attention to changes in your skin. Look out for things like growths or discoloration. If you notice a new lesion or a change in the shape, color, or size of a pre-existing mole or patch of skin, you should seek the consultation of a physician. Often times something very small can lead to something greater. Don’t take the risk. See a doctor when you notice changes on your body.

Non-Sunscreen Protection Options

When it comes to keeping your skin safe from the sun, you have more that a few options to consider.

1. Avoidance

The best skin protection is avoidance. Try to stay out of the sun as much as possible. Keep cool in the shade, and your skin will thank you for it. If you must be in the sun, wear tightly woven clothing and a wide brim hat to keep the sun off of your skin. When clothing like that isn’t a possibility, use plenty of sunscreen.

2. Sunglasses

Wear sunglasses to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes. Children in particular are susceptible to sun damage, so it’s highly recommended you keep their eyes protected, too.

3. Tanning Beds

Some people think tanning beds are safe because you’re away from the sun. The reality is: you should avoid anything related to a tanning bed or a heat lamp. These devices not only have the same harmful UV rays as the sun, tanning beds include additional harmful UV radiation.

4. Sunscreen

When choosing a sunscreen, you should always aim for an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen will not fully protect you, so try to keep in the shade as much as possible.

Other factors make a difference in what sunscreen to choose. For example, babies and toddlers require different types of protection than an adult. Here are some sunscreen options out there to try:

Sunscreen for Momentary Sun Exposure

If you don’t plan on spending time in the sun for more than a few minutes, an SPF of 30 should be okay. We recommend applying lotions that have an SPF in them so that you’re always protected—even if you’re sitting in traffic in your car! The sun’s damaging rays are everywhere.

Broad Spectrum Protection

It’s very important that your sunscreen has both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) protection. This allows protection from both sides of the light spectrum. If you plan to stay in the sun for long periods of time — such as the beach or near a pool — you should use an SPF of at least 30 or higher. With an SPF of 30, you filter out 97 percent of the sun’s UV radiation. You could also try an SPF of 50, which filters out up to 98 percent of these rays.

Sunscreen For Children

Chemicals are especially harmful for children’s skin, so you should avoid sunscreen with PABA and oxybenzone when using it on a child. Sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to be okay for people who have sensitive skin, so it’s okay if these ingredients are in your children’s sunscreen.

One more tip for sunscreen for children: try using alternative applications, like sprays, with colorful packaging that are “fun” to use. Why? Because — and parents already know this — getting sunscreen on children can be a challenge. When using sprays, don’t spray on their faces. Instead, spray on the hands and spread on their faces.

Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin

If you have to manage allergic reactions, acne, or rosacea-prone skin, avoid sunscreens containing:

  • Preservatives
  • Fragrances
  • PABA
  • Oxybenzone
  • Anything “greasy” in substance

Sunscreen For Dry Skin

People with dry skin will find great benefit from moisturizing sunscreens. Apply after showering to “lock in” the moisture to your skin, and be sure to re-apply every 30 minutes.

Have a favorite sunscreen you use daily? Share it in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Werner Kunz

10 Winter Skincare Tips

Image Above Taken From: www.prevention.com

If you’re like most people, you probably already know (and are possibly experiencing) the havoc winter inflicts on skin. From chapped lips to cracked, dry hands, your skin takes a real beating in the chillier months—even here in Charleston!

Make healthy skin a priority this winter with these tips to combat the cold and keep your skin nourished all season:

  • Ask your doctor. First and foremost, when in doubt about your skin condition, it’s best to seek professional guidance. Going to an esthetician or dermatologist even once is a good investment because such a specialist can analyze your skin type, troubleshoot your current skin care regimen, and give you advice on the skin care products you should be using.
  • Invest in a good moisturizer. Your skincare needs vary depending on the season. Even if you love the moisturizer that kept your skin silky-smooth all summer, your skin demands a more hydrating lotion in the winter. Opt for a moisturizer that’s oil-based, rather than water-based, as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture than a cream or lotion. You can also look for lotions containing “humectants,” a class of substances that attract moisture to your skin.
  • Slather on the sunscreen. Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime. Exposure to the winter sun can still damage your skin, increase the signs of aging, and cause skin cancer. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands (if they’re exposed) about 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Give your hands extra attention. The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands, meaning it’s harder to keep your hands moist. In cold, dry weather, your hands are especially prone to itchiness, dryness, and cracking. Be sure you have moisturizer at the ready when you travel, and always wear gloves when you go outside.
  • Avoid wet clothing. Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema. Keep your body warm and dry this winter, and add layers for more protection.
  • Don’t forget your feet. Try finding thicker lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerine—your feet will thank you. If your feet are dry, be sure to use exfoliants to get the dead skin off so that your moisturizer will sink in faster and deeper.
  • Reconsider your facial cleanser. If you’ve been battling the dry-skin blues all winter, try avoiding peels, masks, or alcohol-based face cleansers—they’re likely stripping vital oil from your skin. Opt for foaming cleansers and masks that are “deeply hydrating,” rather than clay-based, to save your skin’s natural moisture.
  • Plug in the humidifier. Humidifiers get more moisture in the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out. To disperse moisture throughout your home, you may want to place several small humidifiers around the house.
  • Protect your pout. Be sure you’re armed this winter with the most soothing lip balm you can find. Double-check to make sure it has sunscreen to keep your lips nourished and smooth.

How do you keep your skin healthy all winter long?

How to Correctly Apply Sunscreen for Maximum Protection

sunscreen applicationWearing sunscreen should be part of every woman’s daily health regimen, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen protects against the sun’s rays that increase signs of aging (UVA rays) and those that cause burns and skin cancer (UVB rays).

Shield Skin by Using Sunscreen the Right Way

Here’s a quick guide to protect your skin and keep you looking your best, no matter how hard the sun is shining.

  • Buy sunscreen for your face & body: Oil-free sunscreen for the face will prevent breakouts while protecting your skin. Sun block for the body generally has oil in it, comes in larger containers, and is less expensive. Spring for both to keep yourself protected and acne-free.
  • Choose “broad spectrum” protection: When browsing for the right lotion, be sure to choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The label should mention both types of rays or indicate that the lotion offers “broad spectrum” coverage.
  • Select an SPF of 15 or higher: The sun protection factor (SPF) measures how much longer you can stay in the sun without burning, compared to wearing no sunscreen at all. SPF 15 lotion, for example, will let you stay in the sun without burning 15 times longer than you could with bare skin.
  • Apply 20 – 30 minutes before going outside: To give your skin time to absorb the sunscreen (and thus enjoy its protection), be sure to apply about half an hour before leaving the house. To cover your whole body, you should use about an ounce, or enough to fill a shot glass. Be sure to remember the most-ignored areas (the backs of your legs, your feet, and behind your ears).
  • Replace sunscreen every year: Don’t dig up an old bottle of sun block for your first pool trip of the season. The active ingredients become less effective over time, so you’re much better off buying new lotion every season.
  • Wear it every day: Every time you leave the house, you should wear sun block on all exposed skin. For most of the year, that might just mean your face and hands, but it’s still important to protect those areas to prevent cancer and skin damage.

These days, it’s easier than ever to stay safe from the sun’s damage. If you loathe the thought of lathering up, opt for sunscreen that comes as a spray, in a stick, or in non-traditional scents that make the process of applying downright decadent!