Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Advisory, Watch, Warning… What’s the Difference?

A Winter Weather Advisory is issued when an accumulation of snow, sleet, or freezing rain is expected to occur. This can lead to inconvenience and even dangerous, life-threatening situations. Caution is advised, especially if going outdoors.

A Winter Storm Watch means there is the possibility of a blizzard, or heavy snow, sleet, or freezing rain. The weather service tries to issue a Watch from 12-48 hours before the storm begins.

A Winter Storm Warning means the blizzard, heavy snow, heavy sleet, or heavy freezing rain is occurring or is imminent. The weather service tries to issue a Warning 12-24 hours before the storm begins. A Warning is the most severe weather message.

Be prepared. Stay safe. Know the difference between an advisory, a watch, and a warning.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Oops! Ouch! How to Avoid Slipping While Walking on Ice

Of course, the best way to avoid falling on an icy surface is to not walk on it. Don’t go out in icy weather if you don’t absolutely need to. This is especially important if you are older, have balance problems, or weak or painful ankles. If you do plan to go out in winter weather, be sure you have appropriate footwear. Wear lightweight boots with good support. Did you know that you can buy ice cleats (sometimes called snow grips) to attach to the bottom of your shoes or boots to help you navigate slippery surfaces? Go slower than usual. Pay attention to your footing. Take smaller steps and keep your arms a bit out to the side. Think about how you’ve seen penguins walking!

Penguins Walking on Snow and Ice

Use your assistive devices. If you sometimes use a cane, walking stick, or walker, winter is the best time to employ it outdoors. If there is a handrail, grab it. Despite these precautionary steps, you may still fall. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that about 1 million US adults are injured yearly from slips and falls. These often happen when the temperature dips below freezing.  If you do fall, try not to put your hands out to catch yourself. That is why many people break their wrists or arms when they fall. Instead, try to land on your side, back or bottom. Let someone help you up after you’ve fallen. Especially if you’ve been injured, it’s too easy to fall again and reinjure yourself as you attempt to become upright again. Here’s to a fall free winter for all of us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Daily Household Chores are GOOD for You!

All the tasks of taking care of a home and family often seem never-ending. You have to do them over and over, no matter how tired you feel or busy you are with other responsibilities.

Yet there are benefits to doing daily household chores. Most of us would prefer tidy surroundings, and in fact they are good for our mental health. Clutter can be stressful. Research has indicated that doing household chores can help lower your risk of dementia.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been collecting data through the American Time Use Survey about how much time people spend doing childcare, socializing, at paid work, or volunteering. Most people (86% of women, 71% of men) do some chores daily. Women spend on average 2 hours 42 minutes doing chores daily, while men spend on average 2 hours 12 minutes. People are more likely to do housework on weekends than on weekdays. The exception is food prep and cleanup, which is less common on weekends.

Here is a list of the top twelve chores and the average number of minutes spent on them weekly.

1 interior maintenance, repair, or decoration  136 minutes
2 childcare                                                       125 minutes
3 lawn and garden care                                    121 minutes
4 exterior maintenance, repair, or decoration  119 minutes
5 interior cleaning                                              89 minutes
6 laundry                                                            67 minutes
7 food preparation and cleanup                         62 minutes
8 phone calls, mail, or email                              61 minutes
9 helping children with homework                     57 minutes
10 grocery shopping                                          48 minutes
11 household management                               47 minutes
12 caring for animals and pets                          46 minutes

How do you compare?

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Tip - If your bath towels smell musty…

A musty smell, like in a damp old basement, is caused by mold growth. Mold or mildew is a type of fungus which grows on organic matter in high moisture environments like bathrooms. DO NOT USE towels that smell musty. The fungus can transfer to your skin and cause infection.

Wash musty-smelling towels without other items in the machine. Use hot water and bleach. Dry at the highest heat possible.

If after bleaching and high-heat drying the towels still smell musty, discard and replace them. It will probably not be possible to rid them totally of mold.

To prevent mold from growing on towels, be sure to dry them completely between uses. If the bathroom is too damp to allow towels to dry, consider hanging them in another room. Allow towels to dry before placing them in the laundry basket or hamper.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Displays and Exhibits for Healthinfo Island for February 2024

February is Heart Month. Check out three related exhibits!

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs below. Once there, click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images.  If you click each poster, you will get a private message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!

Tropical Diseases Are Moving North

Tropical Diseases Are Moving North

Weird & Wonderful Facts About The Human Body

Weird & Wonderful Facts About the Human Body

More Weird & Wonderful Facts About The Human Body

MORE Weird & Wonderful Facts About the Human Body

The Cardiovascular System

Emerging Infectious Diseases and Travel

Signs of Heart Disease That You May Not Recognize

Signs of Heart Disease That You May Not Recognize

Heart Valves, Artificial Valves, & the Body Diagrams

Drug Shortages in the US

Thanks to Mook for assistance with the posters this month.