Summer Water Safety

Dad applying sunscreenStay safe this summer at the beach or the pool by following these tips from WebMd.com:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen over your whole body 30 minutes before going outside. The higher the SPF, the better it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours.
  • The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., even if it’s cloudy. Seek protection with beach umbrellas, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Each adult needs almost a gallon of water or other fluids per day to stay fully hydrated if you’re physically active or exposed to hot conditions.
  • Drinking alcohol can impair your judgment and speeds up the dehydration process. The sweating, vomiting and diarrhea that can go hand-in-hand with too much drinking can result in even further dehydration.
  • A small first aid kit can help prevent minor mishaps from spoiling your day. Make sure your kit includes aloe gel for sunburn relief, triple-antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, waterproof bandages, hydrocortisone cream for insect bites, hand sanitizer, insect repellent and a cold pack for swelling.
  • Some beaches, lakes or rivers allow or rent kayaks, canoes or motorized watercraft. Make sure all boat passengers wear appropriately fitting life jackets.
  • Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including lake shores. Be aware of the daily water conditions and the location of the closest lifeguard. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t fight it. Remain calm. Swim or float parallel to shore. Once out of the current, swim toward shore.

To learn more water safety tips, click here.

Your Nutrition Label is Likely to Change for the Better

Ellen MichalBy Ellen Michal, RD, CDE, Lifestyle and Disease Management Center at Duke Raleigh

Do you find nutrition labels a conundrum–a difficult riddle to solve? Well, you aren’t alone. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label (found on most food packaging in the United States) to help consumers make more informed food choices.

Suggested changes include:

  • Require information about Added Sugars. Many experts recommend consuming fewer calories from added sugar because they can decrease the intake of nutrient-rich foods while increasing calorie intake.
  • Update daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D and require manufacturers to declare the amount of potassium and vitamin D as they are new nutrients of public health significance.
  • Continue to require Total Fat, Saturated Fat and Trans Fat, but remove Calories from Fat because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Change the serving size requirements to reflect how people eat and drink today, which has changed since serving sizes were first established 20 years ago. By law, the label information on serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what they should be eating.
  • Require packaged foods (including drinks) that are typically eaten in one sitting be labeled as a single serving and that calorie and nutrient information be declared for the entire package. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda, typically consumed in a single sitting, would be labeled as one serving rather than as more than one serving.
    • For larger packages (24-ounce bottle of soda or a pint of ice cream) that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, manufacturers would have to provide dual column labels to indicate both per serving and per package calories and nutrient information. This way, people would be able to easily understand how many calories and nutrients they are getting if they eat or drink the entire package at one time.
  • Make calories and serving sizes more prominent.
  • Shift the Percent Daily Value to the left of the label so it comes first. This is important because this value tells you how much of certain nutrients you are getting from a particular food in the context of a total daily diet.

If adopted, the proposed changes would look like this.

Original vs. Proposed

Nutrition Facts

Learn how to quit tobacco for good

no smokingDuke Regional joined other Triangle healthcare organizations to become tobacco free July 4, 2007. All tobacco products are prohibited on hospital property, including parking lots and sidewalks. Our commitment to providing a tobacco-free environment ensures the health and well-being of our patients and their loved ones.

On August 1, 2012, Durham County adopted new regulations for smoking in public areas making the City of Durham and Durham County smoke-free. The ordinance affects city and county grounds (including athletic fields, bus stops, parks and playgrounds), public transportation, sidewalks and other public areas.

If you use tobacco, but need help quitting, here are some tips from QuitlineNC.com:

  • Identify reasons you want to quit. Do you want to quit for your family, to improve your health or to take back control of your life? Think about what motivates you.
  • Get support. Success rates are much higher for tobacco users who have support while trying to quit. Identify a family member or friend who can help, or call QuitlineNC (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for support.
  • Set a date. Set a quit date and tell your family, friends and co-workers so they can support you in your attempt to quit using tobacco products.
  • Get rid of the temptation. Remove all tobacco products from your home, car and anywhere else you may want to use them.

For more tips and support in quitting, visit QuitlineNC.com.

Duke Regional Earns an “A” in Patient Safety

Duke Regional Hospital has been awarded an “A”for hospital safety through The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit group focused on patient safety.

The Hospital Safety Scores range from A-F to represent a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm including accidents, errors, infections and injuries. It’s also designed to provide information the public can use to choose where to receive medical care.

Check out the scores for yourself by visiting www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.