While the official start to summer isn’t until June 21, the heat and humidity have already arrived, as have the afternoon thunderstorms. Everyone loves living in paradise; however, it takes skill to weather the summer months.
Heat, humidity and sunshine
The thermometer may say it is only 80-something outside, but add in the humidity, and the body begins to feel the heat. According to the website HowStuffWorks.com, humans rely on air to rid the body of moisture. Sweat allows the body to stay cool and maintain its temperature. The higher the relative humidity, the harder it is for sweat to evaporate and the harder it is to keep cool.
More children die in Florida from drowning than any other state, according to the state Department of Health.
“Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday,” according to information at FloridaHealth.gov.
In 2010, the state’s unintentional drowning rate for children ages 1 to 4 was 7.29 per 100,000 population - the highest in the nation. The state also had the most drownings and highest rate (2.67 per 100,000) for ages 1 to 14. Oklahoma came in second for ages 1 to 14 with a rate of 2.48 per 100,000, and Arizona was third with a rate of 2.05 per 100,000.
TALLAHASSEE - May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. The Florida Department of Health, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, is launching a new sun safety project called Sun's Up, Cover Up targeting visitors to Florida's state parks.
"Sun safety prevents skin cancer for Florida's residents and visitors who enjoy being outside in the Sunshine State," said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. "This partnership is a natural fit for our agencies and helps to share actionable health information with park visitors."
LARGO - Twenty-one cyclists with the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity pedaled into the parking lot of the Disability Achievement Center, 12552 Belcher Road S. in Largo, May 13, making a stop in the group’s 16-day, 800-mile trek across Florida.
The group had started in Sarasota that morning, biking about 50 miles in total, through Pinellas County and into Largo. Their long journey is set to conclude in Tallahassee this weekend, but their goal is a decades-old tradition of raising awareness on behalf of people with disabilities.
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Six months ago Indian Rocks Beach resident Janie Small didn’t know much about riding a bike, much less anything about long endurance runs. Now she is on the verge of making the Century Ride, a 100-mile course around Lake Tahoe in Nevada. It is not something for the faint of heart.
What got Small, 61, interested in such an event? Her sister, who twice suffered from and beat a form of blood cancer.
“During the times when she was sick I saw first-hand the endurance required of patients battling blood disorders,” she said. “Watching her go through that ordeal and seeing others battling different types of blood cancers, I wanted to find a way to help people with those types of cancer.”
If you are among the more than 50 percent of Americans who live within 5 miles of their workplace, it can actually take less time to get to work if you bike instead of drive. It also can lower stress levels and boost immune function.
National Bike to Work Day is May 15, and a great time to try out bike commuting for the first time. If you’re looking for one good reason to start biking to work, public health campaign and official guide to beginner biking nation-wide, My City Bikes, has provided one for each day of the week:
1. Save money. A 2012 Forbes magazine article reported that, “the average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car.” Even for someone just getting started and purchasing all the equipment they need, they’ll still save thousands on biking instead of driving alone. You’ll save even more when you can cancel your gym membership since you’ll be getting daily exercise going to and from work.
ST. PETERSBURG - Employees celebrated their years of service at St. Petersburg General Hospital during the annual Night of Shining Stars Sunset Cruise April 28.
“We applaud your commitment to and compassion for the patients that we serve on a daily basis and are honored to have you as a part of the St. Petersburg General Hospital Family,” said Janice Balzano, president and CEO of St. Petersburg General Hospital.
Dozens of employees awarded for five, 10 and 15 years of service. The following employees were recognized for 20 years of service: Sheila Boyd, Same Day Surgery; Kenlay Crosby, 1 East; Charis Johnson, Pharmacy; Christopher Pryslak, Dietary.
CLEARWATER - Health experts from Morton Plant Mease will host a variety of upcoming health seminars in June focusing on weight loss surgery, patient portal and medical home, and fading memory.
The monthly seminars are free to the public and are presented at BayCare’s various Morton Plant Mease facilities and community centers around Pinellas County. To pre-register for a health seminar, call 953-6877 or visit: www.BayCareEvents.org.
- Total Joint Replacement - Mondays, June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 9 a.m.; Wednesdays, June 3, 10, 17 and 24, 1 p.m.; at Morton Plant Hospital, Tuttle Auditorium, 300 Pinellas St., Clearwater. Attendees will have an opportunity to increase their knowledge of total joint replacement, learn how to prepare for surgery and become familiar with the recovery process.
The summer months are typically a time of increased need for blood donations. School is out and families are traveling, and that puts the heat on for blood centers during the summer. If blood donors who donate blood or platelets once or twice a year were to donate just one more time, it would be possible to prevent a critical blood shortage.
OneBlood is asking donors to donate twice this summer in the 2 From You summer 2015 challenge.
Each blood donor who gives twice at any OneBlood Donor Center or on any Big Red Bus from May 1 through Aug. 31, 2015, will be entered to win one of 20 giveaways, which include a TV, iPad or Apple Watch. For information, visit www.oneblood.org/2fromyou.