An Apple a Day

Welcome to my blog – An Apple a Day! This is where I hope you and I can have a conversation about all things health-related.

This column is meant to be an opportunity for you to learn my thoughts on everything from healthy living and fitness to immunizations and protecting yourself from infectious disease.

It’s a chance for me to share my ideas on how to optimize all we know about the latest and greatest in health science and innovation to keep you and your family happy and well. And you’ll get to read up on all the many things happening here at the County of Riverside Department of Health. Of course, there are a lot of pretty incredible things happening here— community forums, informative programs and comprehensive services, all designed to support your health and wellness goals.

Check in every week for a new blog where we will begin a journey towards your best health – together. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @rivcodoc and Facebook.

                                      Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer 

Smoke, ash and extreme heat can create health issues
August 7, 2018

With the recent wildfires and all the smoke and ash, it could be a real problem just trying to take a breath of fresh air. Unhealthful air can be a serious health hazard, especially for youngsters and the elderly, and anyone who copes with respiratory issues such as asthma.

Read on for some tips to keep you safe and cool in these extreme conditions:

--Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol in particular may cause you not to realize when the heat has become unsafe.

--Turn on your air conditioner and stay in an air-conditioned space at home, or someplace cool like the mall, a library, senior center or Cool Center. Air conditioners not only cool the air, they filter it.

--Schedule outside activities before noon or in the evening. 

--Avoid or minimize physical exertion when smoke and ash are around. The small toxic particles can get deep within your lungs and sometimes even cross into the blood. Rest in shade or a cool place when you can.

--Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing.

--Wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella for shade.

--Don’t eat heavy meals.  Avoid cooking with your oven.

--Take a cool shower or bath.

--Don’t linger in a hot car, even for a short time. Get the air conditioner on when you’re driving. Never leave a person or animal alone in a vehicle, even for a second, and particularly during high temperatures.

 --Check on your friends and neighbors who are elderly or have medical conditions.

Older people are at higher risk for problems when it’s very hot. People with heart or circulatory disease can also be at unusually high risk. If you fall in these categories, find a safe, cool place to be.

If you’re feeling weak or dizzy, or have headache and muscle aches, and getting to a cool place with fluids isn’t helping, you may have heat stroke. Call for help right away, or 911 if your symptoms are severe.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at

A few healthy tips for a happy Fourth of July weekend

July 03, 2018

As Riverside County residents prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July with barbecues, beach and pool fun and other outdoor activities, here’s a friendly reminder to be safe out there.

Many holiday activities take place outdoors, so rule number 1 is protect yourself against the heat.

Remember to apply plenty of sunscreen, using at least SPF 30. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water; wear a hat if possible. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, especially if you will be swimming or watching over those having fun in pools, or at the beach or lakes. Take a break from the heat every once in the while and go indoors where it is cooler.

When barbecuing, don’t let bacteria get funky with your chicken (or anything else you’re grilling). Make sure to never use the same dish or tray that carried uncooked food as a serving dish without cleaning it first in warm soapy water. Do not leave raw meat and chicken out in the heat for very long before cooking it, and always make sure your meat gets to the right minimum temperature. Steaks and roasts should be at least 145 degrees; poultry and chicken should be at least 165.

Here is a link for other safe food tips

Pools, lakes and ocean water are great places to have fun over the holiday, but keep an eye out: make sure an adult who is not drinking alcohol or can be distracted is watching the youngsters any time there’s children in or around bodies of water. Wear proper safety gear, including life vests, anytime you ride on a boat. Pay attention to the safety rules at the beach and look for an area with a lifeguard.

For more helpful tips and advice, visit

Fortunately, with just a few simple tips, your mid-week holiday can be a lot safer and just as much fun. Get out there and have a great Fourth of July.