We have a lot of great organizations in Kingston and Ulster County that are putting out tips for local residents to have a healthy summer. Here’s a sampling of some of what they’re saying:
Westchester Medical Center Health Network/HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley
1. Hot Weather Safety Tips
Last June, WMCHN/HAHV shared some hot weather safety precautions that are recommended for when temperatures climb over 90 degrees.
- Limit your exposure to the heat, sun or locations without proper ventilation.
- Wear breathable, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Check on the elderly, who may be unaware of their limitations or may spend too much time exposed due to slow movement.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after outdoor activity.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages that can have an adverse effect on your body’s ability to regulate heat.
2. Lyme Disease Prevention
In 2014, HAHV’s quarterly newsletter shared some evergreen tips about how to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases.
The tips, from local physicians Dr. Marc Tack, Dr. Andrew Yanofsky and Dr. Aarathi Nagaraja, included:
- Mow your lawn regularly and steer clear of brushy and grassy areas
- Do a body check for ticks after spending time outside
- Use a tick collar on pets
- If you’re bitten by a tick, remove it immediately
3. Drowning Prevention Tips
In June, Health Quest’s Christina Mezzone, MD, passed on information form the CD on their blog that showed drowning as the leading cause of death for kids aged 1 to 4, and the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for kids ages 5 to 19.
They shared a bunch of safety tips for parents, including:
- All pools should have a fence surrounding all four sides that is at least four feet high, unclimbable and with a self-latching, self-closing gate.
- Pool covers and pool alarms can be additional layers of protection to a fence.
- Keep toys and inflatables out of the pool when not in use.
- Even if there is a lifeguard, assign a “water watcher” to constantly supervise children when they are in the water. The water watcher should not glance at a cell phone or a book during that time.
- Learn CPR.
4. Co-Existing With Poison Ivy
If you’re spending any time hiking this summer, you’re most likely going to come into contact with poison ivy. Make sure you know what it looks like.
Health Quest’s Shantala Sonnad, MD said that if you come into think you touched poison ivy, “immediately wash the oil from your skin and clothes with cool water and soap for 10 minutes.”
Dr. Sonnad recommended using over-the-counter treatments to ease the symptoms, if needed, and to avoid scratching the poison ivy while recovering. If you get poison ivy on the “neck, face, eyes genitals” or experience “unbearable symptoms,” seek medical attention.
5. Farmers Markets: Where Food is Medicine
Last June, Health Quest Clinical Nutrition Supervisor Indrani Dhar, PHC espoused several reasons why getting more plant-based foods from a local farmers market or farm stand on our plates is a good idea.
In Kingston, a couple of places to get farm-fresh produce are:
- The Kingston Farmers Market on Wall Street in Uptown Kingston every Saturday
- Kingston YMCA Farm Project Stand every Thursday from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at 507 Broadway in Kingston until October 31
- YMCA Mobile Market: Tuesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. at alternating HealthAlliance Hospitals and Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at We Got the Juice, at 694 Broadway in Kingston, until September 10
6. How to Grill for Health AND Taste
Dr. Michael Dubin wrote about how to make some small changes to be healthier while grilling, including:
- Choosing meat with less fat in it, like chicken thighs or shrimp
- Grilling fresh fruits and vegetables
- Eating hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages in moderation
- Choosing gas grills over charcoal to produce fewer carcinogens
7. Healthy Hiking Tips
One of the DEC’s Ulster County Forest Rangers, Howard Kreft, recently gave an interview to Spectrum News on healthy hiking tips.
- Wearing sturdy footwear with ankle support
- Bringing a map, compass, extra clothing, and a cell phone/GPS
- Fill out the hiking registry at the start of any trail
- Hike with at least one other person
- Let someone know that you’re going hiking
Ulster County Department of Health
8. Have a Heart-Healthy Summer
The UCHD recently shared ten tips for a Heart-Healthy Summer, which were put together originally by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
- Learn hands-only CPR (video here: http://www.heart.org/handsonlycpr)
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise smarter, not harder during the cooler parts of the day
- Wear clothing that allows for the evaporation of sweat
- Try a Mediterranean-style diet
- Incorporate physical activity into a regular day
- Make your own fruit pops
- Protect yourself from the sun
- Stay inside when it’s hot out
- Learn the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion
Read the full tip sheet here: Full Tip Sheet
9. Have Immunization Records Handy for Campers
New Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced last month that “any children or staff members at summer camps must have the measles vaccine unless they have a medical exemption.”
Go to Spectrum News for the full story or call the Ulster County Department of Health at 845-340-3009 for more information.
Mental Health Association in Ulster County
10. Free Summer Support Classes
The Mental Health Association in Ulster County offers 11 regular free drop-in groups for adults at their home at 300 Aaron Court in Kingston.
To find more free health groups and classes in Kingston and Ulster County, check out this blog post we put out a few months ago.