Outdoors: Single-vision glasses may be a safer choice
One problem with bifocals or trifocals: they don't
allow you a clear vision when you have to look down quickly.
That means people who regularly take part in outdoor activities, like
hiking, are less likely to trip and fall if they have a pair of single
lens glasses for outdoor use. The advice is particularly helpful for
Research reported in the British
Medical Journal shows that half of the participants in a recent study
were given single lens glasses and given instructions on how to use
them. The other half wore their bifocals.
follow-up, it was found that the total number of falls among those who
wore single lenses regularly when outdoors, dropped by 40 percent. Based
on these findings, it's recommended that hikers, picnickers and others
who are outdoors frequently, especially in unfamiliar territory, will be
safer when wearing single lens glasses. It's more true for those with
more limited vision.
Those who spend little time
outdoors, of course, should still use their multifocal glasses for most
Tanning beds blamed for many of the most serious cases of cancer
At least 170,000 cancers a year are linked to indoor
tanning beds. These cancers include basal-cell carcinoma and squamous-cell
carcinoma, skin cancers that aren't usually life-threatening.
People who have used indoor tanning are 29 percent more likely to
develop basal-cell carcinomas. Those who started tanning before age 25
have the highest risk, according to an analysis of 12 studies done in
Other research links indoor tanning
with malignant melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.
People using indoor tanning are 67 percent more likely to develop more
serious squamous-cell carcinomas, say dermatologists at the University
of California-San Francisco.
Advice from the CDC: Holiday safety and health for families
Wash your hands often.
Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to
avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with
soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your mouth and nose
with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in
infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers
of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.
Manage stress. Keep a check on over-commitment and
over-spending. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and
friends. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook and get enough sleep.
Travel safely by car. Whether you're traveling
across town or across the country, take steps to ensure that your trip
is safe. Don't drink and drive, and don't let someone else drink and
drive. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster
seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.
Watch the kids. Children are at high risk for
injuries. Keep a watchful eye on them when they're eating and playing.
Have potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking
hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids'
reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are
choking, and make sure toys are used properly.
Prevent injuries. Injuries can occur anywhere and
some occur around the holidays. Use step stools instead of furniture
when hanging decorations.
Keep candles away from
children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains.
Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Don't use
generators, grills, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or
'The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful
Winter officially starts December 21 and kids of all
ages are singing "Let it Snow!"
Although the lyrics of
this still popular 1945 song speak of frightful winter weather,
excitement usually greets December snows.
not-so-young kids bundle in warm clothing and head outdoors. It's not
just child's play to romp in the snow, and it's practically a rite of
passage to get into an occasional all-out, no-holds-barred snowball
fight!. It doesn't cost anything to make snowballs ... or to make a snow
Pond hockey, tobogganing, and sledding can
wait. First comes the creating of an original Frosty the Snowman.
While singing the weather song and conjuring visions of the 1969
animated television special that plays annually, amateur sculptors start
with three snowballs and roll them across the freshly fallen snow into
body parts: the torso, chest and head. Forget the song's version of a
corncob pipe, button nose and black top hat. Young artists are more
likely to use a carrot nose, charcoal briquettes for eyes and a big
grin, sticks for arms and an old neck scarf and earmuffs or a Santa hat.
When dad gets involved and the snow's just right, it's time to build the
biggest snow fort for local bragging rights. It takes a heavy snowstorm
to produce high drifts of wet, malleable, snow that can be molded and
Although the usual snow fort is built as a
fortress to protect the builder from the snowballs of "enemies," more
mature artists are creating snow castles with turrets and awesome
The biggest snow fort in the world is rebuilt
annually and of different architecture. The SnowCastle of Kemi, Finland,
contains a hotel, restaurant, chapel, theater and an ice art exhibition.
Guests can spend the night in one of the 18 bedrooms, snuggled in
thermal sleeping bags.