Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer—basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas—are highly curable. However, melanoma, the third most common skin cancer, is more dangerous. About 65%–90% of melanomas are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.
For more information, visit the National Cancer Institute’s Skin Cancer.
Ultraviolet (UV) Light
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can penetrate and change skin cells.
The three types of UV rays are ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC)—
UVA is the most common kind of sunlight at the earth’s surface, and reaches beyond the top layer of human skin. Scientists believe that UVA rays can damage connective tissue and increase a person’s risk of skin cancer.
Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, so they are less common at the earth’s surface than UVA rays. UVB rays don’t reach as far into the skin as UVA rays, but they can still be damaging.
UVC rays are very dangerous, but they are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the ground.
Too much exposure to UV rays can change skin texture, cause the skin to age prematurely, and can lead to skin cancer. UV rays also have been linked to eye conditions such as cataracts.
The UV Index predicts exposure levels on a 1–15 scale; higher levels indicate a higher risk of overexposure. Calculated on a next-day basis for dozens of cities across the United States, the UV Index takes into account clouds and other local conditions that affect the amount of UV rays reaching the ground.
Safety in the Sun and on the Water is on our minds Today.
Before going to the beach, visiting the pool, launching your boat, or heading out into the sun, it’s important to understand how to avoid injuries and protect yourself from skin cancer. The information on this page will help you prepare yourself and your family for a safe, healthy, and injury-free experience.
CPR, First Aid & AED Videos and DVDs. Home Learning Kits for CPR & First Aid, Student & Instructor Materials. American CPR Training™ C.A.R.E. CPR, First Aid, AED & Bloodborne Pathogens Books and Videos.FirstAidStore.com™ Featuring First Aid Only® watch our FREE First Aid Video Online!
The week before Memorial Day has been designated National Recreational Water Illness and Injury (RWII) Prevention Week. RWII Prevention Week 2013 will take place May 20–26, 2013, marking the ninth anniversary of this observance.
Each year, RWII Prevention Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone.
The theme for RWII Prevention Week 2013 is How We Swimmers Contaminate Pools. It focuses on swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs. These messages are reinforced by health promotion materials to educate the public on how to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs).
AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) are critical lifesaving devices that are SIMPLE to use… while training is fun and easy – it is not necessary, the devices tell and show you what to do… and they SAVE Lives!
When the chance to save a life from cardiac arrest comes up, will you be ready?
Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and in the workplace today, but with simple training, you can be ready to respond if someone needs your help.
AEDs are EASY to use!
As a malfunction of the heart’s electrical system, cardiac arrest is sometimes a complication of ventricular fibrillation, and causes more than half of the deaths that result from cardiovascular disease. Survival rates jump up sharply from 5 percent to more than 80 percent when someone steps in and quickly uses an automated external defibrillator (AED) to restart the heart. To encourage people to help others without the worry of litigation, Good Samaritan laws protect those who intervene in an emergency in the U.S.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is an AED?
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small computerized medical device that analyzes a person’s heart rhythm. The AED is programmed to detect the type of heart rhythm which requires intervention. It includes simple instructions and automated voice directions. Used by a trained operator outside of the hospital setting, the AED gives an electrical shock called defibrillation to restart a person’s heart, if needed. Using an AED within the first few minutes can reverse cardiac arrest and saves lives.
How does an AED work?
An AED measures the unresponsive person’s heart rhythm. The computerized device then selects and delivers automated voice instructions to the rescuer, based on the heart rhythm. The AED safely delivers an electric shock to the victim’s chest that can reset normal heart rhythm at once. “It is essential that quick defibrillation occur in order to save the patient’s life. With each minute the patient is in ventricular fibrillation the likelihood of survival goes down,” Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC, a cardiologist at UNC Health Care/Rex said. The benefits to the patient are tremendous, he added, “AEDs change the survival rate from less than 5 percent to more than 80 percent with quick defibrillation.” With simple training, you can greatly change the person’s odds of survival during cardiac arrest.
When do I use an AED?
Cardiac arrest can occur anytime and anyplace without warning. During cardiac arrest, the person’s heart beat becomes irregular and erratic — known as ventricular fibrillation — and unless a shock is delivered, the patient will die. “Every minute that a patient remains in the erratic heart rhythm, the likelihood of survival goes down exponentially,” says Dr. Campbell. In his experience, heart attacks often occur in the early morning hours when adrenaline and cortisol levels are at their highest.
The operator of an AED must be able to detect symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. It is time to get an AED if a person:
Becomes unresponsive suddenly
Does not respond when you tap on the shoulders firmly
Does not respond when you ask, “Are you OK?”
Does not take a breath when you tilt the head up
This is the emergency situation where every minute counts, so call 911 and get an AED.
CDC releases final West Nile virus national surveillance data for 2012
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released the final 2012 national surveillance data for West Nile virus activity. To access the information, please visit www.cdc.gov/westnile .
A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Of all West Nile virus disease cases reported, 2,873 (51 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis). The dates of illness onset (when the patients’ illness began) ranged from March through December 2012.
The numbers of neuroinvasive, non-neuroinvasive, and total West Nile virus disease cases reported in 2012 are the highest since 2003. The number of deaths is the highest since cases of WNV disease were first detected in the United States in 1999.
Q. Why should I use insect repellent? A. Insect repellents can help reduce exposure to mosquito bites that may carry viruses such as West Nile virus that can cause serious illness and even death. Using insect repellent allows you to continue to play and work outdoors with a reduced risk of mosquito bites.
Q. When should I use mosquito repellent? A. Apply repellent when you are going to be outdoors. Even if you don’t notice mosquitoes there is a good chance that they are around. Many of the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus bite between dusk and dawn. If you are outdoors around these times of the day, it is especially important to apply repellent. In many parts of the country, there are mosquitoes that also bite during the day, and some of these mosquitoes have also been found to carry West Nile virus.
Q. How often should repellent be reapplied? A. In general you should re-apply repellent if you are being bitten by mosquitoes. Always follow the directions on the product you are using. Sweating, perspiration or getting wet may mean that you need to re-apply repellent more frequently.
Repellents containing a higher concentration (higher percentage) of active ingredient typically provide longer-lasting protection.
Q. How does mosquito repellent work?
A. Female mosquitoes bite people and animals because they need the protein found in blood to help develop their eggs. Mosquitoes are attracted to people by skin odors and carbon dioxide from breath. The active ingredients in repellents make the person unattractive for feeding. Repellents do not kill mosquitoes. Repellents are effective only at short distances from the treated surface, so you may still see mosquitoes flying nearby.