A Monthly Feature of Yates County Public Health
Are You Awake For Spring ?
Sleep is a wonderful thing. We need sleep to renew our get-up-and-go each day. Some say they thrive on lack of sleep, but don’t count on it! Lack of sleep causes drowsiness and drowsy driving is dangerous and often results in injury or death. Falling asleep at the wheel or the inability to pay adequate attention while driving may be a result of being sleep deprived. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every year there are 100,000 drowsy driving crashes reported to police costing $12.5 billion. • When is it most likely to happen? – Most drowsy driving crashes happen at predictable times. We are most likely to feel fatigued, and our risk of being involved in a drowsy driving-related crash increases between 1 pm and 4 pm and 2 am and 6 am. • Who’s at risk? – According to the National Sleep Foundation, 51% of adults reported that they have driven while drowsy, and 17% reported falling asleep at the wheel in the past year. Working late night shifts, taking care of young children, or managing hectic schedules can all be risk factors for drowsy driving. In addition, those who stay awake through the night, such as those who are working, driving, or students who stay awake studying for an exam, are at an increased risk for being in a crash. • Warning signs of drowsy driving – Yawning, inability to keep eyes open and head raised, not remembering the last few miles traveled, drifting out of the lane, or hitting rumble strips are all indications that a driver should pull over in a safe area to nap or switch drivers.
drowsy, find a safe rest area to pull into and take a nap. This is more effective than opening the window, turning up the radio, or using caffeine to stay awake. It takes approximately 30 minutes for caffeine to take effect, and the relief is temporary. If fatigued after a shift, try to find a quiet place to sleep before getting on the road or ask someone to pick you up. The only long-lasting solution is to get adequate sleep. • Getting Better Sleep – On average, Americans have a sleep cycle that requires 8 hours of sleep. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to get adequate sleep; however, we all need to make this a priority. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle helps to promote good quality sleep. The following can improve sleep quality: * Regular exercise- promotes sleep when done at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. * Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine around bedtime – alcohol increases the number of nighttime awakenings while caffeine and nicotine act as stimulants, which disrupt sleep. * Consistent sleep patterns – waking up and going to bed at the same time daily, even on the weekends, encourages healthy sleep. For more information on the importance of sleep and the effects of drowsy driving, visit these web sites: www.sleepfoundation.org www.drowsydriving.org www.nhtsa.dot.gov www.nysgtsc.state.ny.us/drow-ndx.htm www.aaafoundation.org
What can be done? - If you begin to feel
For all Yates County employees and area residents
Ask the Nurse is a feature in our monthly newsletter. Anyone with a question that he/she would like answered, can put it in writing and send it to Public Health. Please indicate on the envelope that it is for “Ask the Nurse”. There is a potential that not all your questions can be answered due to space limitations. If it is a question you need to have an answer for right away, please call Public Health and ask for a nurse. We may need to direct you to your physician. 315-536-5160 or toll free 866-212-5160
Dear Nurse, my eight year old nephew was just diagnosed with Lyme disease. Can you tell me more about it? Dear Reader: Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that comes from the infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). This disease can cause people to have a rash, heart or joint problems, and it can affect the nervous system.
Who get’s Lyme Disease and how does someone get it?
1. Lyme disease can affect people of any age 2. People who spend time in grassy and wooded areas are at increased risk 3. Chances of being bitten are greater during the months of March to May and then mid August to November. This is when the adult ticks are most active. 4. Ticks get Lyme disease from feeding off small animals that are infected. 5. The disease is spread to humans when an infected tick bites a person and stays attached for a good period of time, usually 36 hours. 6. Lyme disease can not be spread from one person to another. How to protect your self?
1. When in wooded and grassy areas wear light colored clothing (so you can see if a tick is on you). 2. Tuck your pants into your socks, and shirt into your pants (to keep the bugs out). 3. Check your clothes and skin every 2-3 hours for ticks (they are the size of a sesame seed and are dark). 4. Brush off any ticks before skin contact occurs. 5. Check your body for any ticks that may be attached, don’t forget behind the ears and at the base of your neck, especially if you have been lying in the grass. 6. Bug repellants can be helpful, but make sure you read the labels. The use of bug repellants does come with some risk. How to remove a tick.
1. Using tweezers, grasp the tick near the mouthparts, as close to the skin as possible. 2. Be careful to not squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain the Lyme disease bacteria. 3. Pull the tick in a steady, upward motion away from the skin. Don’t use petroleum jelly, kerosene, lit cigarettes or other home remedies; these may increase your chances of getting a tick borne disease. 4. After removing the tick wash the area with soap and water. 5. Contact your doctor: if you can not get the tick completely out, if you develop a bulls eye rash where the tick was attached, if you develop a rash or flu like symptoms at the site or if you have concerns about the tick and the potential of Lyme disease. Did you know?: The New York State Department of Health has a tick identification service and it’s free ☺ Put it in a small leak proof container and cover the tick in rubbing alcohol. Then ship it with information about who sent it and your phone number to: NYSDOH Tick Identification Service, c/o HVCC Central Receiving, 80 Vandenburgh Avenue, Troy, N.Y. 12180