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Avoid Heat Stroke This Summer by Knowing the Risk Factors and Symptoms

July in Southern Maryland often means oppressive humidity and temperatures approaching triple digits. While we might enjoy spending our time outdoors, it’s important to recognize the perils of the heat.

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The Centers for Disease Control reports that more people die each year from extreme heat exposure than from lightning, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and floods combined. Children, the elderly and people with chronic conditions are among those most at risk. So are those who work or exercise outdoors, those who live with inadequate cooling or ventilation, and those with breathing or circulation problems.

Our Online Health Library is full of detailed information about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including proper precautions, symptoms and how to react when you begin experiencing them.

Heat stroke often begins to manifest itself with muscle cramps, but several other symptoms can be an early warning, including moist pale skin, headache, dizziness, nausea and more.

If you experience heat stroke symptoms, cease activity immediately and find shade or air conditioning. A cool shower can help, as well.

Be safe this summer and be smart when working or exercising outdoors. Take frequent breaks, drink fluids often and, most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you.

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Easy Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun’s Rays

As much as we love a beautiful, sunny summer day, the best way to enjoy it to the fullest is to take the proper precautions when it comes to your skin.

July is UV Safety Awareness Month and it’s the best time to remember that too much sun can be a dangerous thing. From sunburn to skin cancer, any number of problems arise from excess sun exposure.

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Fortunately, there are some very simple steps you can take to preserve your health and still have a good time under the sun. The Department of Health and Human Services is a great resource for the best UV protection strategies. A few key points:

Wear the Proper Clothing

Think long sleeves, long pants, hats and sunglasses.

Find Some Shade

Stay out of the direct sun, especially during peak burning hours between 10am and 4pm.

Beware of Reflective Surfaces

Water, sand and even snow can reflect UV rays, increasing your exposure.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed skin. Then do it again, repeatedly, throughout the day.

So have fun in the sun this summer, but be smart and take care of your skin.

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Paint the Park Pink and Support Breast Cancer Awareness on July 18

It’s time to hit a home run for the fight against breast cancer.

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Join UM Charles Regional and the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs for Paint the Park Pink on July 18 at Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf. Support breast cancer education and awareness and enjoy a great baseball game.

The Blue Crabs host the Camden Riversharks at 6:35 pm. Wear your pink, because the players will be wearing it, too. Then stick around to enjoy the post-game fireworks display and bid on the pink game-worn jerseys. All proceeds go to UM Charles Regional’s Pink Ribbon Fund to support breast cancer awareness and education in Charles County.

One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Come help us Paint the Park Pink and let’s win this fight.

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4 Great Ideas for Healthy Family Fun This Summer

It’s easy to be healthy when you’re having fun. Keep that in mind as you’re planning things to do with your family this summer.

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Southern Maryland is full of opportunities for healthy, family fun. Here are four of our favorites:

Go for a Walk as a Family

It could be as simple as a stroll around the neighborhood after dinner or it could be something more ambitious. Going for a walk with your family is great exercise and a great chance to catch up with your loved ones after a busy day. Want to really stretch your legs? Head out for a walk on the Indian Head Rail Trail.

Enjoy a Pool Day

Nothing says summer like a day at the pool. But don’t just lay around and catch rays. Swimming is phenomenal exercise and you’re having so much fun, you’ll get a great workout without ever thinking about it. We’ve got plenty of outstanding public pools right in Charles County. Find the one closest to you and jump in.

Grab Your Paddles and Hit the Water

We’re so fortunate in Southern Maryland to be surrounded by excellent waterways. Powerboats are great, but canoes and kayaks provide a chance to feel a little closer to nature and get some great exercise, too. Want to make your outing educational? Explore the sunken World War II ships in Mallow’s Bay in Nanjemoy.

Shop the Local Farmer’s Market

If you want to eat healthy, start by eating local. You don’t have to go far to find a farmer’s market in Southern Maryland. Bring the kids. It’s a great chance to teach them about local agriculture and remind them that food doesn’t always come from the store. Check out Zekiah Farms in Bryantown for delicious food and beautiful flowers. The kids will love the farm animals.

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Celebrate Men’s Health Month and Raise Awareness About Preventable Problems

As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, we can’t help but think about all the things that the men in our lives have done for us. So many times, they’ve put the needs of their loved ones ahead of their own.

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Father’s Day is the perfect time to say thank you and to remind them that taking care of their own health is one way to give their families a priceless gift.

June is Men’s Health Month and an opportunity to shine a light on the issues that affect the male population, including prostate cancer, lung cancer and heart disease. It’s a great chance to encourage screenings, early detection and prompt treatment of the conditions that affect men and boys in our society.

Check out MensHealthMonth.org to learn more and find out about some great ways to raise awareness about men’s health. It’s the least we can do for the men who have done so much for us.

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11 Years and Counting: Charles Regional Honored for Workplace Excellence

We’re excited to announce that UM Charles Regional Medical Center has earned the Workplace Excellence Award and the Health & Wellness Seal of Approval from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence.

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This year marks 11 consecutive years that we’ve received these awards. It’s an important affirmation of our focus on creating an environment where our team can thrive.

Winners of the Workplace Excellence award have shown “an outstanding commitment to overall workplace quality. They are evaluated on programs in communication, diversity, employee growth, life-work balance and more.”

Health & Wellness award winners “demonstrate an outstanding commitment to employee health and wellness—and have led the way by developing innovative programs.”

Creating a positive working environment for our staff is just one more way that we serve our patients. When our staff is well taken care of, they are able to provide the very best care for our patients and their loved ones.

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Expecting a Baby? Schedule Your Tour of Our Birthing Center.

Expecting a new baby soon? Don’t forget to schedule a tour of the UM Charles Regional Birthing Center and Nursery.13444_CRMC_June-5_BLOG_BK_i1

We’ve recently renovated and upgraded our facilities to provide the absolute best experience possible for new mothers, their babies and the whole family.

This month, we’ve got tours available on June 7 (1pm and 5pm), June 8 (6pm) and June 21 (1pm and 5pm).

Register for a Birthing Center tour today to reserve your spot.

During the one-hour visit, you and your guest will meet our highly trained staff and tour the birthing rooms and the postpartum rooms. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your upcoming stay here.

Whether this is your first child or you’ve been here before, this tour is your chance to find out what to expect from our new and improved facilities.

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Enjoy the Sun But Protect Your Skin

Spring is here and we can finally shed the coats and long sleeves. But as excited as we are to enjoy warm days and bright sunshine, it’s important to be smart about sun exposure.May29_BLOG_BK_i1

Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States. The American Cancer Society reports that exposure to ultraviolet rays plays a major role. Our Online Health Library is a great spot to learn about skin cancers, including risk factors, prevention and treatment options.

Skin cancer is often preventable. The American College of Preventive Medicine says the first step is avoiding excessive exposure to the sun. It also recommends wearing hats, protective clothing and strong, waterproof sunscreen. Peak burning hours are between 10am and 3pm, so be especially diligent during those times.

Did you know that roughly 80 percent of a person’s exposure to the sun occurs before age 21? That means it’s even more important to be sure that children are well protected when their outside.

Have fun this summer and enjoy the sun, but be smart and be safe.

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Awareness is the First Step to Overcoming a Sleep Disorder

Though most of us take it for granted, few things are more vital to our health than a good night’s sleep.May22_BLOG_BK_i1

If you’re not getting good, restful sleep on a regular basis, you know just how difficult it is to function normally. May is National Sleep Awareness Month and it’s a great time to remind you that many sleep disorders, once properly diagnosed, can be treated, managed and even overcome.

From insomnia to narcolepsy to sleep apnea and more, any number of issues can keep you from getting quality rest at the end of the day. Our website has plenty of resources dedicated to these problems. This post from our Online Health Library breaks down the causes, symptoms and treatment of common sleep disorders. It’s a great place to start.

Be sure to read down to the section on General Sleep Tips to find out if any of these tactics might help you get to sleep and stay asleep. There’s even a section for parents looking to help their children get a better night’s sleep.

When you’re ready to seek medical help, print out the Sleep Disorder Risk Assessment and share it with your healthcare provider. Addressing your problem is the first step to resting easier.

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Celebrating Our Team During National Hospital Week

The great thing about UM Charles Regional Medical Center is that we truly are a community hospital.

We strive every day to strengthen our connection to Charles County and the entire Southern Maryland area. It’s important to us to be present in the community, so you know who we are and what we can do to help you lead a healthy life.

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Next week is National Hospital Week and we’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of our team members who help us make those connections. A community hospital like ours isn’t just some large entity. We’re made up of hundreds of people who care about Southern Maryland. We are physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, administrators and so many more.

The members of our team are some of the most dedicated, compassionate people you’ll ever meet. So if you’re at Charles Regional or if you’re out in the community and you spot our logo and members of our team, we hope you’ll stop and say hello. Let them know how much our community appreciates all that they do.

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