July 1, 2015
July is the month when we celebrate Independence Day. It is a time set aside to recognize our history, our government and our traditions. For those in the Foreign Service, Department of Defense and other agencies who support U.S. foreign affairs and related missions, you represent what it means to serve and sacrifice on behalf of our country. I want to thank you personally for your contributions in sustaining the freedoms we have come to enjoy in the USA.
On another note, officially summer has begun. This season means vacations, outdoor activities, and visiting national parks. The warm weather brings fun times, but it also brings many dangers. Whether you are engaging in summer work or summer play, anybody can be at risk for heat-related illnesses. These can include heatstroke, heat exhaustion, and heat cramps. Those most at risk include infants and young children, elderly, and even pets. Individuals on certain medications, especially those that alter sweat production, should take extra precautions. Please seek medical care immediately if you become nauseous, start vomiting, or experience cramping.
There are many safety measures you can incorporate to counter the negative effects of the heat and sun. Wearing appropriate clothing, taking frequent water breaks, and applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 are just a few steps you can take to protect yourself. During the hottest hours of the day, stay inside. And, if possible, stay inside an air-conditioned building.
Lastly, July marks the middle of the year, which can be a great time to visit with your doctor. A mid-year check-up helps to monitor ongoing conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. I am confident you have been incorporating healthy lifestyle behaviors and taking your prescribed medications. But scheduling regular visits with your provider can be a crucial part of managing major health issues. Visit your doctor to perform any necessary screenings and tests to confirm your healthy efforts are working.
I hope the first half of the year brought you great joy and low stress. As always, we are pleased to serve as a resource to you. Please explore our website to learn more about healthy living, advances in medical technology, and the many benefits that come just from being a member. Have a great summer!
To Your Health,
Paula S. Jakub, RHU