The small, darkctO t iia around
Mom's head doesn't. mean a
storm, but it does indicate a
buzzing battalion of kamikaze
bugs on the attack. How can
Mom and others like her fight
The best way to dodge sting-
ing insects like bees and hornets
is to smell and look drab, said Dr.
Alan Kwaselow, president of the
Michigan Allergy and Asthma
"The big issue is to avoid look-
ing or smelling like a flower,"
said Dr. Kwaselow, who prac-
tices with Detroit Medical Cen-
ter (DMC) Health Care Centers.
"Also, you want to make sure to
wear some type of footwear to
avoid stepping on a stinging in-
Mosquitoes are harder to
avoid since they are drawn to the
carbon dioxide that is emitted
from the skin. With the moist
spring this year leaving stagnant
pools of rainwater as good breed-
ing grounds, Detroiters may see
more of the buzzing pests than
in years past. Drinking tonic wa-
ter and taking vitamin B-1 have
been said to help by making
sweat less desirable to the mos-
quitoes. But Dr. Kwaselow sug-
gested going with the more
proven bug repellants contain-
ing the chemical DEET to keep
the bloodsuckers at bay.
While avoiding the sting can
be difficult, treating the site
doesn't have to be. For mosquito
bites, a quick dab of calamine lo-
tion can do the trick.
For a bee sting, it is important
to carefully remove the stinger
that is left in the skin by flicking
it out; squeezing the stinger may
cause more of the poison to in-
vade the skin.
Once the stinger is out, the site
can be treated with ice. Redness
and itching can be relieved with
antihistamines, Dr. Kwaselow
said. As for the home remedies
of baking soda and water or
putting meat tenderizer on the
site, "there really is no scientif-
ic evidence to support the effec-
tiveness of those remedies," he
Bug bites, burns and heat exhaustion
frequently accompany favorite
but needn't douse the fun.
D.J. BRADLEY SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
If a reaction not related to the
site surfaces, such as hives or dif-
ficulty breathing, the stinging
victim should be taken to the
closest hospital for treatment,
Dr. Kwaselow said.
"Time is of the essence for
those people who have se-
vere reactions," he said.
which will flush out any dirt that
could lead to infection. Applying
an antibiotic ointment will help
prevent the wound from oozing
because the body will automat-
ically produce fluid to heal the
Burns around the fa-
cial area or irritation
of the eyes that
may be caused
from a spark
ately be flushed
by his four-alarm
with cool water.
fire or being awak-
The victim should
ened by the sound of
then be transported
to an emergency room
bat from the firecrackers the
to ensure than no fur-
family placed underneath his ther damage results.
chair, there are some things peo-
ple should keep in mind about
"Any burn is always worse
Brother is antsy. He's feeling
than a person thinks because a wee bit wobbly and can't re-
people oftentimes don't see the member the last time he was on
full extent of the injury. Some skates or riding a bike. But that
burns initially don't hurt at all isn't going to stop him from
because they are so deep they speeding down a slope that
have burned the nerve," said Dr.
Chavi Pearlstein, 6, straps on her
Sander Kushner, chairman of helmet before riding her bike recently
the Family Practice Department
in Oak Park.
at Sinai Hospital.
In Michigan alone, more than
12,500 emergency-room visits re-
sult from fireworks injuries, with
two-thirds of those occurring
within four weeks of Indepen-
dence Day. According to infor-
mation provided by Hen r y Ford
Health System in Detroit, most
injuries occur because fireworks
are misused, and people don't
use common sense.
Physicians recommend wear-
ing safety glasses, goggles or
even sunglasses when lighting
fireworks. People are also en-
couraged to use fireworks in un-
populated, open areas that are
in close proximity to water or,
better yet, to avoid using the ex-
plosives and go to a profession-
ally staged event rather than
tinkering with the fireworks
Dr. Kushner suggests treat-
ing burns by applying cool water
seems like Mt. Everest.
"The best treatment is pre-
vention and proper safety equip-
ment," says Dr. Kushner. He
suggests keeping three things in
mind before cycling or skating.
One, know the terrain. Chee
to see if the trail is bumpy or
smooth, flat or with hills. Two,
take lessons or go out a few times
to become reacquainted with the
basics of balance, support, mo-
tion and braking. Three, always
wear protective gear. Helmets
apply to skating and cycling.
Wrist guards and elbow and
knee pads are especially impor-
tant for in-line skating enthusi-
Another important element
Dr. Kushner asks people to re-
member is to fall off to the side
from a bike in as much of a ball-
shape as possible. This technique
will lessen the chance of break-
ing legs, arms or neck.
Dr. Michael Jaffee, a physical
medicine resident at Detroit Re-
habilitation Center, echoes Dr.
Kushner's sentiments about the
importance of remembering the
PERILS page 67
PHOTO BY DANI EL L IPPITT
he perfect picnic? Mom is
humming a song with an
orchestra of mosquitoes
buzzing in the background.
Dad's at the barbecue, stoking
the flames to inferno proportions.
Brother is a little wobbly on
those wheels of his. Sister is
broiling in the sun like meat on
By the end of the afternoon,
Mom, with all her bug bites,
looks as though she has the
measles; Dad is more burned
than the hot dogs; Brother is one
giant scrape; and Sister is suf-
fering from heat exhaustion.
Aah, a day communing with
Mother Nature. More aptly put,
a day which demonstrates the
perils of summer.