Open Line July 2019 – Summer Safety

July 12, 2019 posted by



hello and welcome to open line I'm starlene stringer summer in Texas can present some challenges to our health and the health of our loved ones – including our fur babies that might be part of your family well in this edition of open line we'll look at some of the most common accidents and illnesses of the summer months and good ways to avoid them we'll also have some guidelines for window seek treatment our guests for the first segment of the show is dr. Keith lapak from the Irving Health Board and we'll be joined later by representatives from parkland health in a hospital system and Irving animal care services as well dr. lapak thanks so much for being here thanks darling well it is our pleasure to have you but we're talking about something that's not so pleasurable and that is like heat related illnesses have y'all been seeing a lot of patients already in the emergency room with heating I only hit about two weeks ago when the temperatures sustained over 95 it's a little late this year here a little bit later I finally hit so I have to ask you a lot of times people talk about their there being dehydrated or they feel like they've had a heat stroke our heat stroke and sunchokes like the same thing yes ma'am they are heat strokes a little better word but we use other words heat cramps heat exhaustion those would be more common than heat stroke okay so what's the difference if any between heat exhaustion and heat stroke it's what doctors call a spectrum of disease so the mildest form might be heat exposure then heat cramps then heat exhaustion then if you're critically ill its heat stroke so I've got to ask what kind of symptoms should we look for if maybe we think we may have experienced heat exhaustion and that is the key question you really need to nip it in the bud yourself so that you don't get to that more severe form so cramps not just feeling bad really is a sign certainly if you're shivering or if your sweat is cold or you're unable to hydrate or you stop making urine things like this are a really a sign to get out of the heat and rehydrate take it easy and then when you get to heatstroke these people are really sick they have neurologic manifestations seizures or faintings or confusion or high temperature the inability to regulate their he anymore and so those all need to be in the hospital I was gonna ask you so when should you seek medical attention what are the signs that you need to get some serious health if you were unable to hydrate and recover fairly rapidly by taking yourself out of that environment and taking the normal precautions if that fails and you start to vomit or you become confused or you faint or you your temperature your actually your temperature is going up measured by a thermometer things like that you really need to be in the hospital and be evaluated if you stop urinating if your urine is dark or or brown colored or even red you probably need to be evaluated and there are people at risk who really should take more precautions let's talk about that because some people go oh I'm gonna go for a jog and it's four o'clock and it's 102 degrees outside and they do it and they're just fine every time but there's others who walk outside and it's 98° they're like I'm a bass out there are people who are more susceptible to issues can you tell us what that population is well do we need to protect the very young and the very old they're always going to be more susceptible to any environmental exposure and particularly in Texas it'd be eat and then people on medications for underlying medical conditions diabetes obesity people taking certain medicines for high blood pressure perhaps a lot of anti allergy treatment even sort of psychiatric medicines you really they really need to maybe take some additional precautions but if someone's overweight if someone's a diabetic if someone's you know heart disease or is on a lot of blood pressure medicines then they've probably be given precautions by the prescribing physician to to watch those sorts of exposures so I've got to ask you what can we do to prevent heat related illnesses and it's it's it's just the common-sense things about maybe doing your outdoor activities and the morning or the evening hydrating well no excessive alcohol perhaps the night before or certainly during the day if you're going to be out there and I'm not a big fan of the energy drinks people who work all day out in the Sun and they they drink nothing but energy drinks and there's a lot of people like that out there we certainly put themselves at risk for heat illness definitely and you know what's something else that people are really concerned about this time of year that would be mosquitoes you hear so much about them and they're already saying that many of them are testing positive for illnesses that people do not want can you tell us some of those illnesses you see that are related to mosquitoes here in North Texas certainly and there's there's a bucket full you know you hear about a new one every four or five years but they're really not new ones they've been around a while and we have more of a global communities so we have more people arriving in Texas already infected and that's probably a substantial amount so it's not as bad as it sounds when someone says there's a case of chikungunya or Zika or whatever very often that's someone who came to this country with that already with that exposure already however we do have exposures here West Nile is still probably the most prolific of the ones we talked about but that all the numbers of all these are way down in the last five years I'm glad you brought up West Nile because what's the difference I've got to ask you they say West Nile fever and sometimes they say West Nile neuroinvasive disease what's the difference the vast majority people bitten by a West Nile positive mosquito don't get any symptoms probably more than eighty percent so there's exposure and that exposure may confer immunity which is good so you're getting a free immunization maybe from that little guy but a certain percent less than a quarter will go on to develop a West Nile disease or West Nile fever which is not the neuron based disease which is much less common less than much less than a percent will develop a neuro invasive disease but the hallmark of the neuron base of disease is basically I have meningitis and so if you have meningitis symptoms it doesn't matter if you're a bit mosquito or not you need to get tested so if you've got the worst headache of your life if your neck is stiff if you're vomiting if you're confused if you're feigning you're doing weird things you're hallucinating you have a fever a rash bad joint pain following a mosquito bite or just have it in general and you feel ill then those certainly would be in the differential for a physician to test you for good advice and so let me ask you this advice to from you what tips can you share for avoiding these mosquito-borne illnesses all together well and people get confused because certain mosquitoes the West Nile mosquitoes a night mosquito the colex mosquito and then the other ones we talked about chikungunya zika dengue fever or the encephalitis the st. Louis all of these are perhaps a day exposures so people say well win can I but covering themselves DEET getting rid of standing water around the house and by that I don't mean swimming pools or large bodies of water I mean the little microclimates and in these days there's great pet safe children safe sprays and I think these things work great one application on your porch and your back patio maybe every four or five days just a brief or a few seconds maybe enough to keep those little micro collecting areas where the mosquitoes breed underneath leaves or in little little pots or in the rims of ceramics and things like that okay and last but not least I know we're almost out of time you're a busy man especially this time of year but a lot of people go traveling at this time of year what kind of advice do you give for travelers that are heading out should they be prepared to they should the CDC is invaluable for travelers anyone leaving the country needs to go to the CDC website it's free it's accurate it's up-to-date and they give really great country specific advice very good so if you're traveling to any destination you should order to get information you need at that website it takes 10 seconds perfect well thank you so much for taking time to take care and to learn how the City of Irving is working to control mosquitoes year-round you can visit City of Irving org slash mosquito control we're back with a section on the most common accidents that happen during the summer months and what to do about them joining me are Stephanie Campbell burn program manager at parklands regional burn and Shelley Stephen Stidham director parklands Injury Prevention Center I want to thank them both so much for being here thank you for having us it is our pleasure now we just celebrated well the fourth of July and fireworks are still on the brain of a lot of folks so Stephanie I want to compete person asked how frequently do you see fireworks as the culprit in accidents during the summer month in particular we actually see fireworks injuries all year round but we do see a spike in them around the fourth of July clearly and then around New Year's Eve as well typically each year we admit eight to ten patients for fireworks injuries so those are burns that are bad enough to require sometimes skin grafting long-term rehab and long hospitalizations so that's quite a few people in our area that's too many people for sure even one but you know a lot of times parents will say well they're just sparklers the kids can play with them is that ever okay sparklers have become very mainstream they make great Instagram photos people are using them in weddings but the fact is sparklers can get very hot up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to melt glass really burn wood and I think there's an illusion of safety because they're on a long stick so you think that it's okay to hand them to your child but we hear it all the time even with supervision parents parents say sometimes the child drops them suddenly on their foot or even brushes up against someone's clothing accidentally and ignites the clothing on fire no yeah okay so some people think well I bought these at a legal stand these fireworks have to be saved does it make them any safer because they are bought legally no unfortunately there are no safe fireworks I want to be clear about that we do not recommend that you play with fireworks we have a saying leave the shows to the pros I love that there are a couple things you can do to reduce your risk if you insist on playing with fireworks have a bucket of water nearby and so you can douse them quickly a fire extinguisher and then never ever go back to relight a firework that doesn't go off but even with all those precautions things happen they're unpredictable and people do get injured that's good points for people to remember and thank you for that advice that you gave as well now Shelley I want to come to you because we talked about fireworks but something else people love to do over the summer is go swimming or Palayam pools and so what kind of safety advice do you get for people who are going to be out there swimming this summer well particularly if you have a backyard swimming pool it's important to for kids to know how to swim that's that's a an effective strategy to preventing drowning and things like that but it's not foolproof and particularly with toddlers and and young children it's really important to have four-sided fencing around the swimming pool particularly where it's it's the four sides have a barrier to the pool so a lot of houses will have a fence around their house and then the fourth barrier is the house but kids can get out when they're not expected to and and a lot of times you have somebody say oh Stephanie will you watch the toddler and there's just a miscommunication there and then the toddler can get out into the pool so we recommend that there be four-sided fencing it'd be at least five feet high with self latching and self closing gates great advice and then often times you were talking about toddlers when you think about little kids you see a lot of them wearing floaties how safe are they floaties are not approved the technical term is personal flotation device or PFD so floaties are not an approved PFD and so the recommendation is whether you're you've got children who can't swim and they're in backyard pools or lakes or rivers or something like that that they have an approved personal floatation device this is critically important particularly with boating – that everybody in the boat needs to have a personal flotation device good information and then you know what a lot of people go oh I don't have a big backyard pool I don't have a pool that's in the ground I have the kind that you inflate the inflatable pools are they safe for toddlers it's just toddlers can drown and as little as just five gallons of water so we've seen that where they they just get in the water and or in the toilet or things like that and so even small amounts of water a child can drown so it's important to just be cognizant of and have safety measures in place good advice you know when we talk about pools oftentimes that goes hand-in-hand with grilling so Stephanie I want to come back to you or people they're out there on the backyard patio decks grilling this summer what's some safety advice you can get July is absolutely our peak month for grilling injuries most of them are firing flame injuries and they're related to either throwing accelerant on the grill which we recommend you never ever ever do no gasoline or any other kind of accelerant should be around the grill and then sometimes you know that it's a grease fire from grease or fat that's collected on the grill so the other tip I have for people is to keep your grill nice and clean by removing scraping the excess grease and fat that can sometimes build up either on the grill or in the trays underneath the other big thing about grills is you want to keep a three-foot no kid zone all the way around them we see all the time actually a third of our injuries that we see are kids that are getting too close to the grill they're pulling them over falling into them or you know pulling something off of the grill so teach your kids to stay away from the grill you can even draw something on the ground with chalk on your your patio oh good I can put up a fence and just let him know within this zone you're not gonna run and play in this area okay so we were talking about backyard grills but this is the time of year also where a lot of people go camping yes and they may have those portable grills that they take with them what kind of advice do you give for that what do you need to keep in mind when you're using those same thing as far as the kids go any time you're using a grill of any kind or any heat source really even the stove in your kitchen you should keep kids three feet away but with the propane grills one thing you can do if you haven't used it in a while or it's your first time to use it for this summer you can actually do a soak test on the propane line where you take some soapy water run it across the line and see and look and see if there's a propane leak anywhere if there is then you want to you know get some get the propane grill looked at if you smell gas you want to make sure you turn the grill off and and not utilize it until you figure out what's going on with it that makes sense good advice as Shelly I want to come back to you and talk a little bit more about water safety so we talked about those backyard pools but let's talk about boating because a lot of people are doing that around here lately what do you need to keep in mind to be safe on the water well if we're fortunate that we've got lots of lakes around here so we have have a lot of opportunities and boding can be very fun the thing to remember is that alcohol and water sports or water activities really don't mix and i think we think a lot of times that we can hold our alcohol and you know let's have a beer a cold one near the water but what alcohol does is it in it impairs your reaction times it slows them down it impairs your balance and and things like that so probably the biggest thing to remember is don't use alcohol when you're in in and or near water and then if you're boating be sure to have a personal floatation device or an approved lifejacket in the boat for every person that's on the boat thank you for that information and I want to come back to you for just a second Stephanie because you do work in that area where if someone has an emergency they come to you and say help what do we do when do you know it's time to do that because do you just panic and say you know I mean people are at home going oh I can just put a bandaid on that how do you know when it's too bad will you need to go get help so the first thing you should do if you have a small burn injury is just run it under cool running water until the sting lessens if you have a burn injury that looks very white or dry or is larger than say your palm then you should go ahead and seek medical attention immediately any burn injury even a small injury is at risk for infection and so you want to go ahead and get those looked at if someone suffers a large and injury over a large portion of their body you want to call 911 immediately those injuries can be life-threatening I'm glad you brought that up and not to make light of it but I'm so glad that you talked about the importance of that because my mom would put butter on anybody we also say don't put anything from your fridge or your pantry on your burns that's very good to know is that I'm a mom and you go okay I'm not putting butter on my baby hopefully she won't get any burns thank you all so much for being here to help us keep everyone safe this summer thank you thank you welcome and thank you so much for staying here and watching to learn more about parkland health and hospital system visit parkland hospital calm we're back with dr. Kate McManus veterinarian with the herbing Animal Services to talk about how to keep your family pet safe and healthy during the summer month welcome to the show thank you for having me you're so welcome so I know with this summer heat around here it can be really tough on our fur babies and they can't exactly speak and say hey this is what I need help me out right that's why we have you here so you can tell us and what we need to know how does the heat affect our dogs and cats it's gonna affect our pets just the same way that it's gonna affect us so I mean if it's uncomfortable for us to be out there then it's probably uncomfortable for them to be out there so I always recommend keeping them inside in the air-conditioning as much as possible during the summer and if you're really not able to do that making sure they have access to truly shade not just a dog house or a cat house and have access to cool water those water bowls can get really hot and then if you turn the hose on to hose them off or fill a water bowl just check it first cuz even that water in that hose line can get super hot when it's sitting in the Sun all day that makes sense and what about humidity why do we need to keep a look at high humidity when it comes to pets I mean the same reason I think humidity affects us you know it just feels like heavier and hotter I was like bad hair yeah you never know so you know I think they're just gonna feel as as as gross as we do when in that hot humid weather now I understand too that there are some breeds that are affected more by the heat than others is there something we need to be aware of like as a particular breed we should really look out for to make sure they're okay yeah so there's a couple of risk factors we would look at but as far as breed wise any of your squishy-face breeds so any of your bulldogs some of your smaller leg shih tzus and stuff like that and even your cats that have the squishy phases and they really they're just designed not to breed well in the first place and then this heat just compounds that affects and make it so much worse but just like people you're young you're old you're sick your immune compromised and really overweight pets are gonna be at a great risk as well interesting I never knew that about their faces in that way oh yeah they're either a veterinarian nightmare or dream because they have a lot of issues that need to get fixed so so what do we look for what are the signs of overheating in a dog and a cat are they different so with dogs will often see excessive panting and their tongue just gets like huge so it's really more than the typical panning they may not want to rise they may start getting stumbly and weak so if you're seeing those things that's the beginning stages anytime you see a cat panting or a bird that's nothing good they should not be panting so you're definitely at a critical state of either stress or they're getting overheated when you're seeing a cat panting Wow so if we do see that and our dog or a cat what steps should we take to do make take action when they see them you know dehydrated or just really in a bad state right so the first thing that I would do is either find shade okay or get them into the house with air conditioning or a car with air conditioning that's blowing if you're gonna bring them inside put them on a cool floor like your kitchen floor or a bathroom tile floor because they're gonna lose heat through their pads and their tongues that's the only places they really lose heat so you want to get those areas cool cold wet towels on them ideally with a fan blowing – – overall cool them down you don't want to do ice or extremely cold water and then get them to the vet immediately so it's definitely emergency they're gonna need fluids and other intervention just to make sure that they make it through that hmm now some pet owners and this just bothers me as a pet lover but some people they muzzle their dogs is that ever okay in particularly in the summer like this no I would never recommend doing that I mean if you have issues where you need to muzzle your pet there's other things that probably need to be worked on but again that's how they cool off as their their tongues and their feet so if you're limiting their ability to cool off then you're just shutting yourself or the pet up for disaster and when you mention the pause that reminds me the ground can get so hot so when it comes to taking summer walks with your dog or taking your cat out let them and go there's some step we should take to keep those paws safe so ideally I would walk them in the mornings or the evenings before the ground gets hot certainly you can always check the ground with your your hand or your bare foot if you wouldn't walk on it barefoot I wouldn't make your dog or pet walk on it there are booties that can be sold but again I would really just try to avoid those activities during the the heat of the day and especially I think are things at risk for taking them to parades or festivals where they're gonna be out in the heat stressed out from all the people and then dealing also with a hot ground so you know the same things you would probably do for yourself not going out and ruining activities in the middle of the day I think you should apply to your pets and you should be pretty safe great advice and at what time should we seek medical care for our pets so if you're ever worried about a heat stroke or anything like that certainly bring them to your vet immediately you know anytime you know your pet the best that they're kind of not doing right not acting right definitely bring them to the veterinarian it's always better to be safe than sorry and it's always better to have your vet check them out than versus waiting and sitting on it or going to the internet for advice so it's really best to go to our professors always seem to hate that they always say don't go to the internet for medical advice well if you're that worried don't waste the time going on the Internet go to the veterinarian or the emergency clinic if you need to and seek care so let me ask you are there any other heat related issues that pet owners should be aware of I think again just making sure they have shade access to water trying to keep your pet as healthy and as fit as possible and then during the summer months we also see things like you know or pests lakes fleas ticks mosquitoes transmitting heartworm so keeping your pet on preventative is very important all year round but especially during the summer months now we got to ask you this it may sound a bit silly this is painful but do dogs and cats get sunburns they can especially your white animals like with the white pink skin and stuff like that or really prone to sunburns especially their noses but dogs that are potentially out and exposed to Sun all day you know even with dark coats and I'm sure that dark coat just amplifies the heat can can get significant burns hmm and then something else that bothers us because when you talk about sunburns that's something we all worry about but we also worry about mosquitoes at this time of year do mosquitoes affect dogs and cats as well well they do so you can often see well flies you can see fly strike on ears on a lot of dogs that are outside all the time and then mosquito is transmitted heartworm disease to pets dogs and cats so it's critical that we keep them on preventative –zz as well as repellents that keep those mosquitoes away from biting in the first place okay so that's interesting and a little bit scary to you I know we're just about out of time but I have to ask you this because I know you have great advice what are the tips that you offer most what do we need to keep in mind when keeping our dogs and cats just safe in these summer months you know the other key thing that I did forget to mention is you know don't put them in the car don't bring them with you Aran's that car can get so hot so fast just just leave them home I know we all want to spend time with our furry babies and hang out with them but it's it's not worth the risk and it's not safe for them so definitely that's probably the biggest thing is just don't put your pet in any situations that they're gonna be at risk good and speaking of risk beyond the the heat in the summertime like ages a lot of parents are like what does the appropriate age to get a dog or a cat and I know a lot of shelters are filled at this time of year because people buy them and then take them back so what else do we need to keep in mind when choosing to have a new BFF that new dog that's our best friend or that cat yeah I think there's a couple of things to look at you know your children every child is different just like every dog so where are they what stages of maturity or that they add so it kind of will dictate what kind of pet they can take care of and handle and how they behave around a pet and then each pet is different so really spending some time with that pet to make sure it's gonna be a good fit for your home I love old lazy dogs because I like to sleep so but some people are really active and want to be out and about and a young active puppy you're between is gonna be a much better pet fit for them so it really depends on your situation but I think spending time with that pet before you bring them home is a great way to kind of see if it's gonna be a good fit and I always say you don't marry everyone you date so if it doesn't work out you know you can bring the pet back to the shelter or something like that it doesn't mean anything bad is gonna happen to the pet but we want a good fit to happen definitely and I'm glad you mentioned the shelter because I know clear the shelter's is coming yes and we want to find it forever homes those fur babies so tell us about clear the shelter so clear the shelter is now a nationwide event that actually started with the City of Irving where there's no fee adoptions on that day and so we get everybody ready and it's you know dfwi nationwide now and come in to hopefully get a lot of pets adopted on the day and it's just amazing and overwhelming so it's it's a great experience and we get a lot of pets into happy homes that day and that's a wonderful thing dr. McManus thank you so much for being here we truly appreciate it no problem thank you for having me you're welcome and thank you so much for watching this edition of open line I'm Starling stringer please be sure to join us on Thursday August 1st at 1:30 p.m. for the next edition of the show we'll see you then [Applause]

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