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Archive for the ‘Plain City Health’ Category

Pet Safety in the Summer Heat. By Our Student Pharmacist, Ray Chu.

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Summer is here in full force! A time for fun in the sun for our whole family, but it’s important that we keep in mind how to ensure that our four-legged family members stay safe in the heat, too.

As the heat rises, like it will this weekend, we know how to keep ourselves cool and we can tell when our children get too hot, but our pets respond differently to the heat and even differently to how they cool down. For example, did you know that a fan would be perfect for us but doesn’t work well to cool down dogs and cats?

This first point is mentioned over and over, but it’s so important that I feel like I have to mention it, as well. Please do not leave your pet in the car, even for a couple minutes. Tragically, pets die every year due to poor judgment by their owners. Cracking the window does not work to keep the car cool enough.

Take a look at the chart at the bottom of this posting to see how hot it can get in your car.

It doesn’t even need to be a hot day for a car to overheat. On a 70-degree day, within 10 minutes, the interior of a car will reach 89 degrees. These temperatures were all tested with the windows cracked.

Once a dog reaches over 107 degrees, they are in serious danger for irreversible organ damage and impending death – and that’s only approximately 10 minutes on an 85-degree day. It will be much hotter than that this weekend.

Many pets love to spend time outside, but on hot days make sure they have plenty of access to shade and cool water to drink. An enclosed doghouse can actually get really hot inside, so it’s best to have shade with lots of airflow like the shade of a large tree or a covered porch. Add ice to the cool water every so often.

We humans can sweat to cool off, but our furry friends cannot. The best way to help them cool themselves internally is to give them cool water to drink. If you like to exercise with your pet, do it in the cooler hours of the day like the early morning or late evening. Take frequent breaks and make sure to bring lots of water with you to let your pet have a drink.

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Speaking of having your pet outside, it is important to make sure that the ground is not too hot for them. Many of our pets will not make a fuss if the ground is too hot for them to walk on, even if it is burning them. Their paws may be tough, but they can still be burned. An easy way to check is to place your own hand on the ground for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. On an 86 degree day, asphalt can easily reach 135 degrees. An egg would fry in five minutes in that temperature!

Many of us must leave our pets at home when we leave for work or other activities. When we leave our pets at home, again, we must make sure they have access to plenty of cool water. The house itself can get very hot, as well. Many owners will turn their air conditioning off when they leave the house. This can be very dangerous for our pets since the temperature can quickly rise to dangerous levels for our pets. The problem is compounded when we are not there to replenish their water bowls. If you do not want to have the air conditioning on as low as when you are in the house, consider setting it to a more conservative temperature like 75 degrees when you leave your pets at home.

So I’ve talked about how to keep your pets cool, but how do we recognize when our pets are overheating, or worse yet, having a heat stroke. Some signs to keep an eye out for are:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lethargy (or just really slow and tired acting)
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Salivating a lot
  • Vomiting
  • A tongue that is deep red or purple in color
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

What do we do if we find our pets in heat stroke?

We should immediately move them into the shade, or even better, into an air conditioned room. Apply ice packs or cold towels to their head, neck, and chest. We should also run cool (but not cold!) water over those same areas. Let the pet drink small amounts of cool water and, most importantly, take them directly to a veterinarian.

Here are links to some other good articles on the subject:

https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/unattended-pets-hot-parked-car.pdf

https://www.free-press-release-center.info/viewrelease.php?rid=00000000000000046214

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Travel Safety. By Our Student Pharmacist, Steve McVey.

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Summer vacation and travel are here!

The summer months can be very relaxing and fun, but travel can be stressful and bring with it unexpected issues. One thing that can make travel even more stressful is having to manage your medications away from home. It is important to know if there are any restrictions on traveling with your medications, how to store them while traveling, and how to take them if you are traveling outside your normal time zone. If you plan to fly, make sure you check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website ahead of time to know what the rules are about traveling with your medications (you can search “medications”).

Several helpful tips include:

  • Carry a letter from your physician that includes medical conditions and medications you are taking. Include your physician’s and pharmacy’s phone numbers.
  • Keep your medications with you in your carry-on.
  • Keep your medications in the original, labeled prescription containers if possible.
  • Tell the screener that you have your medications in your bag and alert them if you have diabetic testing supplies with you.
  • These rules can change so always be sure to check before you travel.

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If you are planning to drive, ask your pharmacist about any special storage instructions for your medications. You may need to use cold packs and coolers for refrigerated medications. Plan ahead so you don’t run out of medication. Let your pharmacy know 1-2 weeks ahead of your travel plans. This will allow them time to work through any potential issues in getting your medication or working with your insurance. Your pharmacist can also instruct you on how to take your medications in a different time zone.

If you plan on driving, make sure your vehicle is in good repair. Have a mechanic do a checkup to screen for potential safety issues. Educate yourself on roadside repair and know what to do/who to contact should you have issues you cannot resolve. Map out your refueling plan to keep from running out of gas. If you are traveling to other states, you may want to familiarize yourself with any unique traffic laws.

Study up and educate yourself about your travel destination. Learn what services are available and where to find them. Inquire about any special weather conditions or other unexpected or unique occurrences (i.e. traveling to a location where flash flooding is a possibility, local events that may impact your travel plans, etc.). You may also want to learn about the local culture. Educating yourself will enrich your experiences and keep you safe and healthy during your stay.

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International travel presents a host of other considerations you should review prior to travel. Schedule a visit with your physician about 4-6 weeks in advance to make sure you are healthy and able to travel. Discuss with your physician or pharmacist what immunizations you may need while traveling to that area. Some needed vaccinations may be unexpected, like the current resurgence of measles.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the first two months of 2019 there were over 34,000 confirmed cases of measles in 42 countries in the WHO European region.

You can learn more about staying safe and healthy while traveling at this CDC website.

A few helpful tips about international travel also include:

  • Wash your hands frequently and before eating, drinking, or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid tap water and other sources of unpurified water (i.e. ice, fountain drinks, etc.). Instead choose bottled products or heated drinks.
  • Be careful of what you eat. Avoid street vendors and never eat undercooked meat or vegetables. Avoid raw fruits and veggies unless you can peel them before eating.
  • Protect yourself from bug bites, animal bites, and sunburn.

Vacations and travel can provide needed rest and relaxation, as well as many great memories. Prepare for your travels well ahead of time to minimize stress and keep yourself healthy as you have fun.

References:

  1. Transportation Security Administration. Department of Homeland Security. https://www.tsa.gov/. Accessed June 27, 2019.
  2. Travel and Your Medicines. Pharmacist Letter. Therapeutic Research Center. https://pharmacist.therapeuticresearch.com/Content/Segments/PRL/2016/Jul/Travel-and-Your-Medicines-9921. Published June 2016. Accessed June 27, 2019.
  3. Staying Healthy While Abroad. Pharmacist Letter. Therapeutic Research Center. https://pharmacist.therapeuticresearch.com/Content/Segments/PRL/2013/May/Staying-Healthy-While-Abroad-5575. Published April 2013. Accessed June 27, 2019.
  4. Traveler’s Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. Accessed June 27, 2019.
  5. Measles- European Region. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/csr/don/06-may-2019-measles-euro/en/. Updated May 6, 2019. Accessed June 27, 2019.

Photo Sources:

  1. Plane: https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/best-travel-tips-2018-21-things-experienced-business-travelers-say-to-do-when-you-hit-road.html
  2. Photography/Mountain: https://www.outsideonline.com/2393413/what-to-know-when-traveling-alone
  3. Car: https://backroadramblers.com/how-to-pack-a-small-car-for-a-big-trip/

June is National Safety Month. By Our Student Pharmacist, Stephanie VanHouten.

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June is National Safety Month.

National Safety Month aims to promote work, home, and travel safety! According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, accidental injuries are the leading cause of death to people aged 44 and under. National Safety Month is all about spreading awareness on ways to reduce risk of accidents and injury.

The US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) has suggested the following ways to reduce risk:

  1. Prevent poisoning: Most accidental poisonings happen to people at home. Some common sources of poisoning are spoiled food, medicines, cleaning products, and cosmetic products. Be sure to keep these items out of reach of children or impaired adults. NEVER share prescription medicine with others.
  2. Driving safely: Focus only on driving. Do not let other activities distract you like eating, texting, or talking on the phone. Distracted driving causes nine deaths every day in the United States!
  3. Avoid falls: Over 25% of seniors fall every year. Falls cause injuries like broken bones and skin lacerations that too often lead to death. But older adults aren’t the only ones at risk! With summer comes increased hiking and rock climbing, as well as increased construction. Anyone can fall doing these activities.

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Additionally, the National Safety Council (NSC) chose four safety points to focus on for the month of June:

  • Recognizing hazards: The NSC suggests thinking about every action you take before you take it. Avoiding hazards is all about learning to anticipate them. They also suggest reducing hidden hazards like replacing burnt out light bulbs that are causing poor lighting, and keeping potentially hazardous substances out of sight from children and pets.
  • Avoiding Falls: Just like the ODPHP, NSC has also placed emphasis on preventing falls, especially in the workplace. Stairs are a common fall hazard. Always take extra caution when going up or down them, especially when carrying items. Avoid leaving open drink containers laying around that can easily spill and create slip risks. Trying to multitask while walking can also cause falls. Don’t text and walk at work!
  • Fatigue: Being overly tired puts you at risk for having accidents. The NSC suggests “A.C.E.S.” to get the proper amount of sleep. A.C.E.S stands for:
    • A-Alcohol: drinking before bed can interrupt your circadian rhythm and cause your sleep to be less restful.
    • C-Caffeine: caffeine is a stimulant that can cause you to lose sleep. Limit your daily intake and avoid it at night.
    • E-Environment: keep your bedroom dark and cool for the best night’s sleep.
    • S-Screens: blue light from your phone, computer, or TV tricks your body into thinking it’s still daylight and causing you to produce less melatonin, keeping you awake. Avoid screen time before bed.
  • Impairment: Impairment at work is a leading cause of workplace injury. Of course, we suggest you NEVER do drugs (including marijuana) or alcohol before or during work, but other things can cause impairment, such as loss of sleep and some medications. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications cause mild to extreme impairment. Be sure you know how your medication affects you before taking it at or prior to work.

Some common medications that cause sleepiness include:

  • Pain relievers like Percocet (oxycodone-acetaminophen)
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
  • Muscle relaxers like Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Certain mental health drugs like Desyrel (trazodone) and many, many more!

Ask your pharmacist for more information about your medication regimen!

For more information about National Safety Month visit https://www.nsc.org or visit us at Plain City Druggist in Plain City, Ohio, Happy Druggist in West Jefferson, Ohio, or Happy Druggist on Karl Road in Columbus, Ohio.

We sincerely wish you all a safe summer!

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References:

  1. National Safety Month. US Department of Health and Human Services. 06/2019. Accessed online at https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/JuneToolkit2.aspx on 6/25/2019.
  2. Teen Safe. 100 Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics for 2018. 12/26/2018. Accessed online at https://teensafe.com/100-distracted-driving-facts-statistics-for-2018/ on 6/25/2019.
  3. National Safety Council. National Safety Month Free Material. Accessed online at https://www.nsc.org/pages/nsm-public-materials on 6/25/2019.

 

Water and Boating Safety. By Our Student Pharmacist, Andris Grinvalds.

Pool Safety

Summer is almost here! The consistent warm temperatures and sunshine are drawing everyone to the outdoors.

There is no better way to enjoy the hot weather than to go for a swim or go boating out on a lake. However, it is important for everyone to first consider boating and water safety. Most accidental drownings are preventable and it is important for everyone to be aware of these safety tips so we can all beat the heat with safety in mind.

The number one rule is to never swim alone and to never leave young children alone around any body of water. Most drownings happen silently and quickly. Being distracted for a few seconds can be enough for a child to fall into the water. Accidents can happen in less than thirty seconds. And they can happen without a sound. It is important to always have a young child within arm’s reach when around water. Remember that floating toys and air mattresses are not alternatives for life vests. Remove floating toys when the pool is not being used. Children may reach for the toy and fall in by accident. Do not be lulled into thinking children are safe if they have taken swimming lessons; it is still important to stay near the child at all times.

Other safety precautions include:

  • Every able person should be trained in CPR and other rescue techniques.
  • Have a first aid kit handy.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when swimming or supervising a child near water.
  • Do not become complacent and rely on a lifeguard to watch children.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.

Swimming in natural bodies of water comes with different risks. Water in rivers and lakes is darker and may have a current or undertow. If you are caught in a current, do not fight it. Float with the current or swim parallel to shore until the current is weak enough to escape. Never dive in unfamiliar areas.

Other popular summer activities include sailing and boating. Most of boating fatalities can also be avoided if one is aware and knows how to stay safe. Nearly half of all boating accidents happen when alcohol is involved. Avoid alcohol when operating a boat. Anyone born after January 1, 1982 must have a boating license to operate a boat. It is important that all passengers are familiar with the safety precautions before boarding.

All of the boating regulations for Ohio can be found HERE.

Life Jacket Fit

Life jackets are crucial in boating safety. In Ohio, children under 10-years-old must always wear a life jacket on boats less than 18 feet in length. The law also says that there must be a life jacket for every person aboard the boat and they must be readily accessible. All boaters are encouraged to wear a life jacket at all times. Falling out of a boat may disorient the person and prevent them from being able to swim. A life jacket will keep the person’s head above water so they don’t drown.

Life vests should be inspected before leaving the shore to make sure they are in good condition. It is also important for everyone to try on the life jacket and make sure it fits. There are different life jackets for children and adults. Life jackets are fitted based on weight and chest size. Make sure the life jacket has a tight fit and is properly fastened. To check if the life jacket fits properly, lift your arms up and have someone pull up on the shoulders of the vest. If the jacket does not ride up over your chin or face, it fits correctly.

Some other boating safety tips include:

  • Never boat alone or at least have a plan and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Always carry a cell phone for emergencies.
  • Never swim in a marina. Boats are connected to shore with power lines and stray power lines can result in paralysis and death.

Please share these tips with family and friends to bring awareness to the community. If we all know and understand the safety concerns of swimming and boating, we can avoid tragedy and enjoy this beautiful summer weather.

Resources:

Boyse K. Water and pool safety. Published May 2010. Accessed June 2019. http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/water.htm

National Safety Council. Water Safety. Published 2019. Accessed June 2019. https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/drowning

Kalkomey Enterprises. Study Guide for Ohio Boater Education Certificate. Published 2019. Accessed June 2019. https://www.boat-ed.com/ohio/studyGuide/10103602/

United Stated Coast Guard. Wearing your life jacket. Published June 2019. Accessed June 2019. https://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/life-jacket-wear-wearing-your-life-jacket.php

United States Coast Guard. How to choose the right life jacket. Published June 2019. Accessed June 2019. http://www.uscgboating.org/images/howtochoosetherightlifejacket_brochure.pdf

National Marine Manufacturers Association. Safe boating tips. Published May 21 2019. Accessed June 2019. https://www.discoverboating.com/ownership/safety/tips

Heatstroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Dehydration. By Our Student Pharmacist, Steve McVey.

Summer heat

The arrival of summer brings us sunny weather and many opportunities for outdoor activities. With the good weather, it is important to be mindful of spending excessive amounts of time in the heat. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that heat-related illnesses, including dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke, cause approximately 600 deaths per year and all pose serious risks. However heat-related illnesses are preventable if you take the right precautions and watch for danger signs.

Higher temperatures, muggy or humid weather, and sun exposure can all increase the risk of heat-related illness. Under any of these conditions, the body may overheat and not be able to cool down properly. We normally sweat to help our bodies cool down, but dehydration, dry skin, or sunburn can stop the skin from sweating or releasing heat properly. However, in some circumstances, even proper sweating may not be enough to cool down our body temperature.

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Some special populations including older adults, young children, people with other health conditions, and athletes are all at an increased risk from prolonged heat exposure.

Visit this CDC link to find more information about protecting at risk populations.

Heatstroke may be caused by either strenuous activity or simply being in a hot environment for an extended period of time. Other factors like wearing too much clothing, drinking alcohol, or dehydration can lead to heatstroke. Heat exhaustion is often caused by the same conditions and circumstances and can lead to heatstroke.

Hallmark signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion include increased body temperature, with heatstroke being above 103℉ and heat exhaustion being above the normal 98.6℉. A person with heatstroke may have hot, red, dry, or damp skin and may have a throbbing headache. Those with heat exhaustion usually sweat excessively and their skin may be cool or damp. Heat cramps are often the first sign of heat exhaustion.

You can click here for a chart with more information about signs and symptoms

Drinking water

It is important to stay hydrated and limit exposure to heat and sunlight. Everyone should increase their water intake during summer months regardless of how much exercise or activity you are getting. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you are fluid restricted, ask your doctor about how much you should drink.

You can also help prevent heat-related illness by dressing in lightweight, light colored, and loose fitting clothing. Plan outdoor activities in the morning and evenings to avoid the hottest times of the day. Apply sunscreen, at least SPF 15 or higher, 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply according to package instructions. Stay indoors when possible in a cool, air conditioned room. Fans may help with comfort, but air conditioning is needed in extreme heat to help lower body temperature. Never leave anyone, child or adult or pet, in a car in hot weather. Temperatures may reach upwards of 110℉ in as little as 20 minutes.

If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 911 immediately, move them to a shady area, and cool their body temperature rapidly with cool baths/water. Do not give them anything to drink. If someone is experiencing heat exhaustion, use similar methods to cool them down, and give them cool water to sip. Heat cramps may be treated with rest and cool sports drinks or juice.

You can find more information about how to treat heat-related illnesses here.

Remember to stay hydrated, stay informed, and stay safe while enjoying the summer weather.

References:

  1. About Extreme Heat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.html. Updated June 19, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.html. Reviewed June 1, 2012. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  3. Protecting Vulnerable Groups From Extreme Heat. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/specificgroups.html. Reviewed June 19, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  4. Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html. Reviewed June 19, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff. Heatstroke. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581. Reviewed August 15, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  6. Mayo Clinic Staff. Heat Exhaustion. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-exhaustion/symptoms-causes/syc-20373250. Reviewed December 14, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  7. Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html. Reviewed September 1, 2017. Accessed June 6, 2019.

Dehydration pic link https://www.accesssportsmed.com/news/how-to-tell-youre-dehydrated/

Heat pic link https://northendwaterfront.com/2018/07/tips-for-beating-the-summer-heat/

Drinking water link https://centralflawatertreatment.com/clean-and-healthy-drinking-water