Fourth of July Safety Tips

Fourth of July Safety Tips

What would the Fourth of July be without a picnic, possibly with a big family-and-friends cookout, topped off at dusk with celebratory fireworks? Your concierge family practice doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter, Florida, want you to have a happy holiday. We also want you to be safe, which is why we decided this would be a good time to review firework safety basics.

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Tips for Healthy Summer Snacking

Creating healthy, creative snacks in the summertime is practical and easy, especially since there’s so much healthy delicious produce in season! Summers are busy, so quick, on-the-go foods are often your best option. On top of that, summertime allows you to have variety in your healthy eating, since almost every fruit and vegetable is available at your supermarket. All of these things make summertime the best time for optimal healthy snacking. Here is a list of some of the best and healthiest summer snacks!

Avocado Toast
Perhaps one of the easiest summer snacks is some avocado on a piece of toast, with salt and pepper. It’s best to use a very ripe avocado, mash it with a fork and then spread on your favorite toast. A drizzle of olive oil gives it a nice flavor and an extra boost of healthy fat!

Mini Caprese Skewers
Assemble toothpick skewers of cherry tomatoes, small pieces or rolled balls of fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze or just a dash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Add some sea salt for a little crunch!

Frozen Fruit and Yogurt Bites
You can do this with just about any fruit. Some that we have found to taste great are blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – all summer favorites. Simply mix the fruit with greek yogurt, spread out onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and freeze. When you take it out of the freezer it will break apart like bark. These are great on an especially warm day and pack a little protein from the yogurt.

Oven-Dried Strawberries
Bake fresh strawberries in the oven for 3 hours at 210 degrees. They will dehydrate and taste like candy, but are completely healthy and all-natural. The nice thing about this snack is that they can be taken on-the-go for a quick snack when you need it. These are much better than hitting the vending machine when you just need a snack!

Frozen Grapes
Wash your fresh grapes and put them right in the freezer. Although this is such a simple maneuver, the results are delicious and super refreshing during the hottest season of the year! Frozen grapes are like nature’s candy and so easy to make!

Healthy “Banana Split”
Cut a banana down the middle and fill it with greek yogurt, fruit of your choice, and an optional sprinkle of mini dark chocolate chips. This snack is full of protein and healthy goodness, while still satisfying your sweet tooth. This is also a great snack for the kids!

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Love potato chips but looking for a healthier option without losing the crunch? Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes. After they are done baking, mix them with olive oil and seasoning of your choice. Yum!

Summer is one of the best times for snacking. Whether you are going to soccer games, on family vacations, or keeping busy at home, snacks come in handy for everyone! Snacks don’t have to be full of fat, fried, or packed full of preservatives. Take advantage of the vast array of fruits and veggies available in the summertime, and make them into healthy snacks that are delicious for the whole family!

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Avoid These Summer Hazards!

It’s definitely a HOT summer here in South Florida! While you might only be thinking of enjoying grilled food, swimming in the pool, or playing fun summer sports like volleyball or baseball, it’s important to be aware of some common summer hazards during this sunny season. Here are the most common health effects during summer months, and what you can do to prevent them.

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Top Summer Superfoods

Due to the high levels of nutrients found in  superfoods, they are able to stand alone as one of the healthiest snacks a person could ever munch on – especially in this South Florida heat! Paired with something else, though, and these foods are virtually unstoppable. Of course, people enjoy seasonal foods that work well for the months they are eaten in. Summer, for example, is a time when people’s appetites are suppressed, thus altering what they will eat. Well, fear not: Summer has seasonal superfoods, too!

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Tips for a Safe South Florida Summer

It’s already beginning to feel like summer here in South Florida! With even hotter summer weather in Florida right around the corner, it is essential for you to protect your health with several habits that can prevent medical problems. Have a safe & healthy summer with these tips!

1. Drink Enough Water throughout the Day

Dehydration is a serious problem that can occur at anytime of the year but is more common in the summer because you perspire more. If you are accustomed to drinking caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks or tea, then you will urinate more often, leading to additional loss of body fluids. While you do not need to give up your favorite flavored beverages during the summer, you should make sure to drink at least eight glasses of pure water each day. You can supplement your hydration by eating fruits that are high in water content.

2. Protect Your Skin with Sunscreen 

Florida has year-round sunny weather, but in the summer, the sun’s ultraviolet rays are more intense. If you are outside more often because there is no rain, then applying protective sunscreen products is essential to prevent skin damage. Sunburned skin is uncomfortable, and it can lead to medical problems immediately or in the future. Not only does skin damage from the sun lead to wrinkles, but also, it can lead to some forms of skin cancer.

3. Use Safety Precautions while Swimming

Swimming is a favorite activity in Florida in either a pool or the ocean, and to avoid injuries, you must use safety precautions. Make sure to have a written list of rules for anyone using a swimming pool at your home, and also, provide life jackets or floatable devices. Install a fence around a swimming pool at your home, and make sure that everyone knows that they should only swim at the ocean or in a pool when another person is nearby.

4. Use Protective Gear while Riding a Bicycle

If you enjoy riding a bicycle in the summer, then invest in protective gear, including a helmet that fits properly. It is also a good idea to wear specialized pads on your elbows and knees in case your bicycle tips over. To ensure drivers in vehicles can see you, place reflectors on various parts of your bicycle and wear a light-colored shirt, jacket or shorts. Learn how to maneuver a bicycle correctly on streets or sidewalks to avoid an accident that can lead to a serious injury.

5. Use Insect Repellents to Avoid Bite and Stings

When you are outside more often in the summer, there is a greater chance of receiving a sting or bite from an insect – especially those pesky mosquitos! Several types of insects can transmit diseases that lead to itchy or painful bumps, and some species of spiders are venomous. Protect your health by applying insect repellents to your skin to avoid contamination from mosquitoes, ticks or wasps.

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Easy Ways To Prevent Skin Cancer

Living in South Florida is like living in paradise. However, many Americans are at a high risk for skin cancer, and the sunshine state can be a dangerous place if you aren’t careful. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and there are many different types. From Melanoma to Lymphoma, skin cancer affects thousands of Americans every year. The main cause of skin cancer is over exposure to direct sunlight. This may be hard to accept for those living in South Florida, but it is important to protect your health as best you can. Here are some ways you can alter your lifestyle to avoid developing skin cancer in the future.

Appreciate the shade

The hours between 9 AM and 5 PM are considered the most dangerous. This is when the sun is strongest, which means your chances of overexposure are high. The closer you get to midday, the greater your risk will be. Seek shade whenever spending long hours in the outdoors. At the beach, use an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Do not use tanning beds 

Many living in South Florida like to have a good tan before they start going to the beach. A slight tan is fine, as long as it is natural. Tanning beds are death traps when it comes to skin cancer. In fact, over tanning naturally is just as dangerous. If you feel you need to tan, keep it light and wear sunscreen. Any medical professional will tell you that a dark tan is not worth the risk.

Sunscreen and clothing are crucial

If you cannot avoid direct sunlight for hours every day, you should be using sunscreen that is about 15 SPF. Also wear long sleeve shirts and long pants. This is not popular advice in South Florida, but a long sleeve shirt is the best way to protect your skin when outdoors. There are even shirts designed with SPF within the fabric. Such shirts can be purchased at most dive or surf shops.

Regular checkups with your doctor are important

If you live in South Florida, you are at a higher risk of skin cancer than most other Americans. You should schedule a routine checkup at least once a year. More if you fear you may be at risk or find any unusual new spots on your body.

Skin cancer is no joke. It is responsible for many lives, but most cases could have been prevented with the proper attention and care. It is never too late to start a healthier life!