Summer tips

Don’t Let the Heat Get You Down!

Posted on May 12, 2014

heatwave drinking waterOur first round of heat is headed for the Bay Area. With the thermometer heading higher in some local areas this weekend, we are reminded of: spare the air, hum of air conditioners and fans and a few healthy tips.

While it doesn’t happen often, a heat wave in the Bay Area can have unwanted affects if we don’t take proper precautions. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center physicians have some hints that can help keep you and yours out of trouble and hopefully out of a local Emergency Department.

Listen to your local news. When the thermometer rises, there are precautions that can be taken that will keep you and yours safe. Read More

Chill Out for Better Nutrition in the East Bay

Posted on Jul 16, 2013

Family of four enjoying a barbeque
Warm weather is great for your outdoor adventures, but it’s not so great for your BBQ and picnic food.

Don’t invite unwanted guests to your summer feast by letting bacteria spoil your food.

Food nutrition and safety in the East Bay

Every year about 1 in 6 Americans—that’s around 48 million people—gets sick and 128,000 are hospitalized because of food borne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Here are a few food safety tips from the CDC:

CHILL OUT: Be sure to keep your refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate foods properly—that means putting them in the refrigerator within two hours and within one hour during the warmer summer months.

CLEAN: Wash, wash, wash! Wash your hands often before and after handling food. Clean places where you prepare food, such as cutting boards and utensils.

DON’T CROSS CONTAMINATE: You can still spread germs—no matter how clean your hands are—if you mix ready-to-eat food with raw food, like seafood, poultry, eggs and meat. Keep them separate.

COOK: Use a food thermometer to check food to make sure it’s safe to eat. Here are the ideal internal temperatures for cooked meat:

  • 145°F for whole meats
  • 160°F for ground meats
  • 165°F for all poultry

Brought to you by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Don’t Get Burned This Summer

Posted on Jul 9, 2013

Young East Bay woman standing in the sun wearing a hat for protection; remember East Bay skin cancer screenings can save lives

A sunburn is not only uncomfortable but can damage your skin. Block the sun, not the fun this summer! Be sure to check out free East Bay skin cancer screenings near you.

Types of sunburn

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can burn skin, which damages it. Mild sunburns are called “first-degree” sunburns because they affect the outer layer of the skin. These usually cause mild pain and redness, but heal quickly.

A “second-degree” sunburn means that the sun’s rays have reached the deeper skin layers. This deeper sunburn cause redness, pain, swelling and often blistering.

Protect yourself

  • Stay out of the midday sun (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Wear hats with wide brims to cover your head and neck
  • Use sunglasses with UV ray protection
  • Wear loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing to cover your arms and legs
  • Use a water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or higher
  • Apply lip balm or cream that has SPF of 30 or higher to protect your lips

Check out East Bay skin cancer screenings

Make sure your skin stays healthy. Even if you don’t get sunburned a lot, your skin is exposed to the damaging rays of the sun every time you go outside without sunscreen.

Be sure to have your doctor exam your skin by performing a skin cancer screening to catch skin cancers early.

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland offers free skin cancer screenings in the East Bay through its Markstein Skin Cancer Screening Program. For more information, please call Markstein Services at 510-869-8833.

Find the doctor for you by using our “Find a Doctor” search tool.

Celebrate Summer Safely This Fourth of July

Posted on Jul 1, 2013

Fireworks sparklerMost of us enjoy Fourth of July sparklers—but are they kid-friendly?

Did you know that the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature greater than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit (From the national fire protection association)?

That’s hot enough to cause third-degree burns. That’s really hot! A cake bakes at 350 degrees, wood burns at 575 degrees and glass melts at 900 degrees.

Fireworks safety in Oakland

Burning at such high temperatures means that sparklers, like other fireworks, are particularly dangerous for young children, especially when it comes to injuries to the eye. According to Prevent Blindness America, here are a few tips for dealing with a speck in the eye.

  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • Use an eye wash or let tears wash out specks or particles;
  • Lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid;
  • If the speck doesn’t wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage and see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

Brought to you by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.

Raising Awareness About Hepatitis A in the East Bay

Posted on Jun 27, 2013

Dictionary turned to hepatitis definitionRecently, a Hepatitis A outbreak in California and several other states was traced to tainted berries.

With National Hepatitis Month in July, it seems like a good time to ask yourself: “How much do you know about this disease?”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects the liver. It’s transmitted by the fecal-oral route.

So, you can get the disease from contact with an infected person or by eating contaminated food–such as tainted berries–or by drinking contaminated water.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin)
  • Fever

Fortunately, the disease usually goes away on its own without causing chronic liver disease.

Preventing Hepatitis A in the East Bay

The hepatitis A vaccination is the most effective measure for preventing infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for all children at age 1.

Talk to your doctor about ways to keep you and your family healthy. Visit our “Find a Doctor” search tool to find a doctor near you.

Brought to you by Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.


Tips on Reducing Heat Related Illnesses

Posted on Jun 29, 2011

Don’t give up!  The sun is back and with it, higher temperatues.  Picture of the sun

Enjoy the heat and the sunshine this holiday weekend and remember:

• Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity such as running, biking and lawn care work when it heats up. Confine strenuous activity or tasks to the coolest part of the day.
• Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library – even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
• Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
• Dress for the heat: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that is loose fitting, sun glasses, a wide brim hat or an umbrella.
• If you have breathing problems, like asthma – especially on a ‘spare the air day,’ try to stay indoors. Air conditioning helps.