Protect your skin! Idahoans have a higher melanoma rate than the rest of the United States

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We’ll soon be spending lots of time in the sun, and many of us won’t properly protect ourselves from its damaging rays. As we get ready for the long Memorial Day weekend to kick off our summer, Friday is National Don’t Fry Day, and it’s a good time to make a promise to yourself to be more responsible in the sun this summer. Sunburns add up. Every time you get a sunburn, your risk for skin cancer increases.

Is it really necessary to take precautions if you’re not outside very long?  

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage skin – especially fair skin — in as little as 15 minutes, but it can take up to 12 hours for the full effect to show up. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with melanoma being the deadliest form. Idahoans have a higher rate of melanoma than the national average and one of the highest death rates in the nation. So it’s always important to take precautions in the sun.

Who is most at risk?

Those with fair skin or hair, freckles, and blue eyes are at the highest risk for developing skin cancer, but everyone who spends time outside increases their risk and should make sun safety part of their daily routine. While being sun safe is important, early detection is vital in treating skin cancers, so check your skin regularly and see a doctor if you find anything you’re not sure about. Continue reading

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Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays

Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the summer season for most Idaho families. We’ll be spending lots of time in the sun (we hope), and many of us won’t protect ourselves from its damaging rays. So I’m here to tell you that Friday is Don’t Fry Day, and it’s a good time to make a promise to yourself to be more responsible in the sun. Sunburns add up. Every time you get a sunburn, your risk for skin cancer increases.

If you’re outside for less than an hour, is it really necessary to take precautions?  

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage skin – especially fair skin — in as little as 15 minutes, but it can take up to 12 hours for the full effect of sun exposure to show up. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with melanoma being the deadliest form. Idahoans have a higher rate of melanoma than the national average and the highest death rate in the nation. Continue reading

Memorial Day weekend means summer is here! (Yay!) Will you be safe?

As we get ready to hit the road, pack our coolers for picnics and camping trips and generally get ready for the official start to the summer (finally!), we hope you’ll take the time to brush up on some health and safety tips so you and your families have a fun and rewarding summer.

Be safe on roads and highways: Every hour, an average of two traffic accidents happen somewhere in our state, with too many resulting in fatalities. Aggressive driving contributes to almost half of all motor vehicle deaths. From Memorial Day throughout the summer, more vehicles will be traveling Idaho roads, so be patient and don’t take foolish chances to arrive a few minutes early. Other travel safety tips include:

  • Be sure your vehicle is ready for travel. Check the tire air pressure (including the spare tire), along with belts, fluids, and lighting.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle.
  • Make sure everyone in your car is wearing a seatbelt.
  • Don’t text or talk on a cellphone while you’re driving. Don’t become distracted trying to do other things as you drive. A car traveling at 65 mph covers 95 feet per second. A one-second distraction could result in a serious accident and injuries.
  • Be aware of symptoms of fatigue or “highway hypnosis.” Take a break if you feel drowsy.
  • Take your time and be patient; it’s better to get there in one piece. Allow ample space between your vehicle and others on the road and pay attention to the speed limits and other traffic signs.
  • Don’t drink alcohol and drive.
  • Don’t leave your child or your pet unattended in the car, even for just a few minutes. It can heat up quickly to dangerous temperatures.

Continue reading