Summer camp is a great way for kids to socialize, get exercise, learn new skills, make new friends and grow. Whether it is a sleep-away camp or a day camp, camp is a big part of the summer for many kids. Don’t let your kid’s food allergies keep them from the summer camp experience.
If you are the parent of one of the 6 million children in the U.S. with food allergies, camp can also be a cause for concern. You have worked hard to protect your child from food-borne allergens at home and at school. How can you protect them at camp?
When selecting a camp, be sure to ask about their food allergy policies. Ask if they have epi-pens on site and if staff completed training in their use. Do food handling and preparing staff understand food allergies and avoidance protocols?
How far away is the closest medical facility? For rural camps, it might be many miles to the closest hospital.
The FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) has published their Guide to Food Allergy Friendly Camps. Some camps are simply peanut and tree nut free facilities, others are geared for more multiple food allergies. While they don’t endorse the camps in the guide, it does provide a good starting place if you haven’t selected a camp yet.
Allergy season is here, and over-the-counter allergy medications are flying off the shelves. But did you know that mixing certain allergy medications with other medicines can have hazardous effects on your health?
The active ingredients of allergy products can cause over-medicating with other combination or single-entity non-prescription or prescription medications.
“By consulting with your pharmacist, consumers can make an educated choice as to which allergy medicine is right for them,” says Dr. Daniel A. Hussar, Remington professor of pharmacy at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. “Consumers should read the warnings on over-the-counter medicines and consult with their pharmacist or doctor in order to make educated decisions about which allergy medication is right for them.”
“Certain allergy medications (antihistamines) can cause drowsiness or sleepiness, and caution must be observed when participating in activities like driving or operating machinery,” Hussar noted. If this response is bothersome, the consumer should ask the pharmacist to recommend a product that does not cause this sedative effect.
Some antihistamines have a drying effect and cause annoying effects like dry mouth. “This is another situation in which the pharmacist can recommend another product that is not likely to cause this effect.”
Some allergy products contain analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When an allergy product containing one of these analgesics as a secondary ingredient is taken by a patient who is also using an analgesic for another purpose, an excessive response may result. Side effects may be subtle and develop slowly but, in some individuals serious stomach, kidney, or liver problems could result.
Some patients with high blood pressure may experience problems due to the decongestants included in many allergy products. Decongestants can raise blood pressure, which can be particularly dangerous in patients with high blood pressure that is not well controlled, says Hussar.
Dr. Hussar has been quoted and has published extensively on issues surrounding consumer-related pharmacy practices.
Have you started your Spring Cleaning yet? Because we don’t have four seasons in South Florida only the calendar says it is Spring. We are about halfway through the dry season. But, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do that annual deep clean.
History of Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning comes from a time when we relied more on wood, oil and coal burning sources for heat. By the end of winter, after a home had been closed up for months in an effort to keep it warm the air was stuffy and most surfaces had accumulated ash and soot. Warmer days meant a time to open the windows and doors and scrub away soot, ash, and dust.
You might not have a house full of ash and soot, but if you haven’t done a deep cleaning in awhile, there is no time like the present! Don’t let the thought of a good Spring clean stop you before you get started. While the idea is to clean every surface, that doesn’t mean you have to tackle the whole house at once.
For example, when I start a big cleaning job I break it down into rooms and tell myself I only need to do a few rooms at a time. I generally start with the formal living and dining room and toss in a hallway or half-bath because these rooms are not filled with loads of “stuff” and I can finish them with minimal effort and get a feeling of accomplishment.
Develop a Spring Cleaning Strategy
It helps to have a plan of attack and assemble your cleaning supplies in advance. I started last weekend and was able to accomplish quite a bit in just a few hours. I always start at the top and work to the bottom. This means first knocking down any cobwebs in those corners where the walls and ceilings meet before I clean the walls. Yes, that is right…I clean my walls at least once a year if not more often.
Because I have a Miele vacuum cleaner with an adjustable wand I have no problem reaching up the length of the wall to the 10′ ceiling. I just put the smooth floor brush on the wand, fully extend it then start at the top and vacuum down. If you have washable curtains of slip covers, this is a great time to get them in the wash. I washed mine last week with a little De-Mite laundry additive to get rid of any dust mites that might have collected there.
Next tackle the woodwork. If you have crown molding, start there then work down to any chair rail and lastly baseboards. Give all the furniture a good dusting and if knickknacks are washable, take them to the kitchen sink and give them a good washing. Otherwise, dust with a damp cloth. This is a great time to treat your upholstered furniture with a denaturing agent like ADMS Dust Mite Spray. After you vacuum the cushions and give them a flip, just spray lightly.
Finally clean the floors. I used my Vapamore steam cleaner to clean my tile floors. It does such a fantastic job of cleaning and brings out the natural shine in the tile. I do confess that I covet the new Primo model. I have the old style MR100 and I have to keep a towel handy to purge and it doesn’t have the nifty retractable cord. I would say that when mine is ready for replacement I will get the Primo, but unfortunately I know that my steam cleaner is like my Miele vacuum cleaner and is so well made it won’t need replacing for many years to come. If you have sealed wood or laminate floors, you can steam clean them as well.
If you have carpet, vacuum thoroughly, including the little cracks by the baseboard and then treat with X-Mite Powder or ADMS Dust Mite Spray. If you use the X-Mite Powder, be sure to sweep it in thoroughly and then go on to cleaning the next room. X-Mite needs to sit on the carpet for 3 hours to work properly. If you are using the ADMS Spray, just lightly spray after you vacuum and call the room done.
You might have noticed that I didn’t mention anything about the windows. That is because I don’t try to Spring Clean inside and outside at the same time. I used to clean windows when I cleaned a room, but I found that gathering the extra supplies and running in and out just seemed to make the process last longer. Now I clean all the windows in one fell swoop. That is usually after I have the majority of the home deep cleaned or I can sweet talk my dear husband into doing it for me.
I also find it helps to set a time limit. For example, I will tell myself I am going to deep clean “insert name of room/rooms” and I am going to have it done in “x hours”.
Otherwise I will make myself crazy and a 2 to 3 hour project will consume 6 or 7 hours.
If you have Spring cleaning tips, I’d love to hear them….just post your comments.