While most of us associate the summer weather with vacations and beach excursions, the season is an entirely different experience for those of us who are susceptible to skin conditions. The hot, humid air, stronger sun and other seasonal environmental factors can cause summer skin conditions to pop up unexpectedly, so it's vital to keep the most common ailments on your radar so you can respond quickly to clear them up.
Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you can cover a wide range of treatments for common skin conditions with your pre-tax funds! Let's explore what you and your family should be on the lookout for this summer.
Most of us have experienced sunburn at some point, which is the body's response to excessive ultraviolet light exposure that results in hot, reddened skin, itching and peeling of the top skin layers, according to The International Dermal Institute.
Treatment and Prevention: FSA-eligible sunscreen, avoiding direct sunlight for long periods of time and sun protective clothing can play a role in preventing sunburns. If they do occur, you should first make an effort to drink plenty of water as sunburn can dehydrate the body. Avoid greasy creams and lotions, and instead treat the affected areas with cold packs to curb swelling and soothing after-sun gels to ease burning and discomfort.
- Dry Skin
With all the humidity in the air each summer, dry skin may seem improbable, but seasonal factors and activities like sun exposure, swimming in chlorinated pools and being in air conditioning can cause dry skin issues nonetheless.
Treatment and Prevention: The American Academy of Dermatology suggests showering soon after swimming in a pool to remove any chemicals that may be present on the skin. Regular sunscreen use can prevent skin drying issues by protecting the upper skin layers, while using dedicated skin-nourishing sunscreen moisturizers throughout the season can prevent dry skin before it forms.
- Poison Ivy, Sumac and Oak
While they are harmless to some, if you are allergic to poison ivy, sumac or oak, a substance called urushiol, found in each of these plants causes the painful rash on contact with the skin, reports The Mayo Clinic.
Treatment and Prevention: Being mindful of what these plants look like and avoiding them while spending time in heavily wooded areas can limit your exposure, as well as wearing long clothing to prevent skin exposure to plant oils. If a skin reaction does occur, the rash will usually dissipate after 2-3 weeks on its own. In more severe cases, WebMD suggests treating the discomfort with cold packs, calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream.
Folliculitis is a common condition among athletes during the summer months that occurs when the inside of a hair follicle becomes infected from excessive bacteria growth, reports WebMD. Bacteria thrives in hot, moist environments like sweaty clothing, and folliculitis can result in small raised bumps on the skin that resemble pimples.
Treatment and Prevention: According to WebMD, folliculitis will usually clear up on its own in 1-2 weeks, but recovery can be aided with hot packs and other heat therapy deliver methods to ease itching and promote the healing process.
- Heat Rash
Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, occurs when the body's sweat glands are blocked and sweat is not allowed to permeate to the skin level where it will evaporate. This can result in red bumps underneath the skin that can itch and produce a tingly, prickling sensation, reports Medicine Net.
Treatment and Prevention: Heat rash is more common in some individuals than it is in others, but the vast majority of cases are caused by excessive sweating, tight clothing that prevents sweat evaporation, and heavy lotions or creams that could block sweat ducts.
The condition will typically clear up on its own, and it can be avoided in the future by avoiding exercising in excessively hot/humid environments, drinking plenty of water, and wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
Stay on top of your loved ones' health and buy the products they need most at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you support the health and wellness of your family year-round.
What day can possibly compare with the Fourth of July? It's an entire holiday that centers around enjoying the great outdoors, fireworks, grilling and spending time with those you care about. But as you prep your menu, send out invites and check the weather forecast, the safety of you and your family should also be at the top of your to-do list!
Your flexible spending account (FSA) covers a surprising range of products that will fit right into your Fourth of July planning and can create a safer environment to celebrate in. Here are a few FSA-eligible must-haves for your gathering!
- First Aid Kit
Are you prepared for anything in the event of a medical emergency? Every home should have a fully-stocked first aid kit to administer care in the event of an injury, and with a large group of people to look after, this becomes even more of a necessity. First aid kits are stocked with bandages, wound dressings and more to help you stabilize an emergency situation until medical care arrives.
- Sunscreen with Insect Repellent
Sunscreen is an FSA-eligible expense, but according to current IRS regulations, bug spray is not. Luckily, we here at FSAstore.com stock Bull Frog sunscreen, a qualified product that contains broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays that cause sunburn and a DEET-free insect repellent to keep mosquitoes at bay all weekend.
Check Out: Bull Frog Sunscreen, Lip Balms and Sprays
- Topical Anesthetics
A bee sting or insect bite can put a major damper on your holiday. Topical anesthetics are a great option to have around during your summer gatherings that can quickly ease the pain and itching that arises from bites and stings.
- Sunburn Pain Relief
Try as you might to prevent them, sunburns can happen to the most dedicated sun protection experts, and the itching and burning that will follow can be a nuisance for days. Whenever your sun care regimen slips, make sure you have a topical post-sunburn treatment you can apply to keep the discomfort at bay.
Check Out: Solarcaine Aloe Extra Burn Relief Gel, 8 oz
- Cold Packs
Last but not least, if you or family member suffers an injury over the course of your Fourth of July festivities, cold packs are always helpful to have around. Applying cold therapy to a sprain, insect bite or bruise can help relieve pain and combat swelling to speed the healing process.
Check Out: ACE Hot and Cold Compress, Reusable, 1 ea
For everything you need to keep your family healthy this summer, you can rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the tax savings potential of your employee benefits!
Adventure Medical First Aid Kit
Find everything you need to care for a large group on an extended trip.
Each month, we receive hundreds of great questions from our customers about everything relating to FSAs in ourFSA Learning Center. This past May, we received a bunch of fantastic questions relating to product eligibility and account coverage, which may be helpful to other FSA users as well.
Here are our favorite Learning Center questions that could help you see your consumer-directed healthcare account in a new way. And if you have a question of your own, feel free to drop by and ask a question and we'll respond ASAP!
"Does an Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) have to be signed by an M.D.?"
Anyone who is qualified to diagnose and assign treatment of a legitimate medical condition can fill out a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN), but it is left up to the benefits administrator to determine whether this product/service would be eligible for FSA reimbursement. Before making an appointment with a doctor or specialist regarding a specific medical product/treatment, check with your benefits administrator to ensure that they will accept an LMN from this individual.
"My podiatrist wrote me a prescription for orthopedic shoes. Since it's medically necessary, can they be purchased using my FSA card?"
Ask your benefits administrator! Orthopedic shoes may be a qualifying expense with appropriate documentation, such as a letter stating that they are medically necessary to treat a specified condition, or, as shoes are a common everyday expense, it may be that your administrator will only reimburse you for the difference in cost of the specialty shoes over the cost of regular shoes. Check with your FSA plan administrator to see what is required to be reimbursed for the cost of orthopedic shoes and what exactly can be reimbursed.
"How do I get reimbursed for a prescription I paid for with my own money?"
FSA users can pay for qualifying prescriptions and other products/services with their FSA debit cards. Qualifying products/services that are purchased with one's own money can be reimbursed by filing a claim. Hold onto any receipts/invoices you may have for qualifying purchases, as these will be submitted with a claim form to your benefits administrator to process for reimbursement.
"Changing jobs and old FSA balances - how can I use those balances after I leave employer?"
You should liquidate your balance BEFORE leaving your employer. Employees who switch jobs have the freedom to spend whatever they allocated to their FSAs before leaving their position, as these funds will be forfeited if they are not used before termination. Employees also have the option of opening another FSA at their next job provided that it's offered.
"May I use my FSA for a dependent who has turned 26?"
You may submit eligible expenses for reimbursement for products/services incurred by your adult children up to age 26. Each plan will define at what point a dependent will no longer be qualified, which may be the day in which they turn 26 or the end of the plan year for the year in which they turn 26, so you will need to contact your FSA administrator for further details on your plan.
The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, and with it comes a whole new slate of potential health concerns that you and your family must be mindful of during this time of year. If you and your loved ones love the great outdoors, ticks are a particular nuisance in the early spring and bites can lead to a wide range of potential health issues like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and many other potential maladies.
Whether you're trekking in the back country or enjoying your backyard, practice these tick prevention tips this spring!
- Stick to the trail
If you're hiking or camping this coming spring, make sure you stick to the trail and don't stray too far off the beaten path. Ticks are more likely to reside in tall grasses, underbrush and other places with increased moisture and relative humidity. According to TickEncounter.org, tick nymphs can only survive for 8 hours at a time in areas that are under 80 percent humidity. As such, if you stick to sunnier areas and avoid the cooler, shadier spots, you will decrease your exposure to ticks.
- Consider yard landscaping
Whether you have little ones or pets who will spend significant time outdoors this spring, you should pay close attention to these areas to see if there is room for improvement to reduce tick populations. The vast majority of ticks around your home will inhabit the area between your yard and a wooded area, so remove potential tick hot spots like leaf piles, shrubs and ground cover near your home. Additionally, look into landscaping that will deter animals like mice, deer, wood chucks and other rodents that could carry the parasites.
- Cover up!
Ticks spread diseases by attaching themselves onto the bare skin of their hosts, where they can become impacted and will survive on the host's blood. An easy way around this in the early spring is to wear clothing that will cover exposed areas like your ankles, knees and upper thighs. While this strategy may not work for the sweltering temperatures of summer, it can make a huge difference when hiking or spending long periods of time in the wilderness.
- Perform tick checks
Last but not least, every time that you, your loved ones (the dog too!) spend a long period of time outdoors, be sure to check your clothing and extremities for ticks that may have gone along for the ride. Ticks can take several hours to spread Lyme disease and other ailments after attaching themselves to the host, so a good rule of thumb is to remove your clothing immediately after being outdoors and taking a shower immediately. This will give you a chance to check your skin for the presence of ticks, and remove any if necessary.
For all of your spring healthcare needs, be sure to visit FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to support your family's health and wellness year-round.
Don’t get Krabby playing Pokémon Go – these FSA eligible items will keep you in the game while you’re on the go! Whether you’re walking through the woods for more insectoid Pokémon, hiking along the lake in search of that water Pokémon, or rushing downtown before your phone battery dies to find that Pokémon gym, we’ve got you covered at FSAStore.com!
1. Stressed out that you didn’t get Pikachu as your first Pokémon? Relax on a Chillow while you debate whether it’s worth starting a new account.
2. Did you track a Charizard into a swamp or an abandoned back yard? Is there a hornet’s nest or mosquito-infested pond between you and your next big catch? Bull Frog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen (30SPF) with insect repellent will give you a boost against the sun AND keep those real-life insect monsters at bay while you hunt to your heart’s content.
3. Walking around all day to incubate those eggs? You’ve tried riding a bike, taking the bus, and nothing seems to work except pacing the block. Protect yourself against the sun with Aveeno Active Naturals Protect & Hydrate (70SPF) Sunscreen. After a long day of egg-walking, you can use more of it to restore skin that’s been in the sun all day, and help you stay healthy.
4. Sad about your phone’s low battery? Clean up with Boogie Wipes Saline Nose Wipes. Boogie Wipes are a gentle, effective alternative to dry tissues. Maybe your phone died at 2pm because you couldn’t put Pokémon down, but at least you can freshen away those tears with FSA eligible Boogie Wipes.
5. Frustrated at the lack of in-game explanations for the gym system? Did you trip on the sidewalk while reading another online guide? First Aid Bandages will protect your skin after the worst cuts and scrapes.
Does your little one have a conflicted conscience about making “use” of low level duplicates? Soothe his or her troubled thoughts with the Toby the Puppy Hot/Cold Pack for Kids. It holds a pack in place right on the head and looks adorable to boot.
6. Did you meet the love of your life at a Pokémon gym? Google it if you don’t believe it! See a little more clearly who’s out there with prescription contact lenses which you can spend your FSA dollars on. Or maybe you look your best and freshest with prescription sunglasses, which are also FSA eligible!
If you and your kids are constantly in and out of the water throughout summer, swimmer's ear is a major concern that you should be mindful of.
How does swimmer's ear develop?
It is a bacterial infection that affects the outer ear canal, which is also known as otitis externa. This occurs when water remains in the ear canal. That then creates the moist conditions necessary for bacteria to grow. This infection can occur in both acute and chronic forms. The most common symptoms include swelling in the ear canal, pain, continual drainage and a feeling of fullness in one's ear.
How is swimmer's ear prevented and treated?
The ear canal has natural defenses that protect against the development of bacteria. But,there are some risk factors that could increase the likelihood of contracting swimmer's ear. First, allowing water from swimming to linger in the ear canal can directly affect the formation of swimmer's ear.Also, swimming in water with elevated bacteria levels (lakes, non-chlorinated pools)can affect things. As can cuts or lesions in the ear canal as a result of cotton swabs or other objects, or with individuals who have more narrow ear canals that can easily trap water.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has swimmer's ear, you should consult a doctor even if the symptoms are mild to stop the infection before it accelerates. In most cases, treatment involves first cleaning out the ear canal to remove any traces of bacteria and excess moisture.
This is usually followed by an antibiotic or antifungal ear drop regimen to treat the infection directly. The doctor may also recommend a steroid to limit inflammation. In most cases, swimmer's ear will clear up with appropriate treatment in 1-2 weeks. With some advanced preparation at the beach or pool this summer, you can stop it before it has a chance to develop.
Before you hit the beach this summer, safeguard your loved ones by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products!
Here are a few ways to spend your FSA funds to keep cool this summer:
Sleeping is especially difficult in a hot, humid environment, especially without the benefit of air conditioning. The Chillow is a great solution that provides a cooling sensation for comfortable rest.Itcan be placed underneath an existing pillow and is flexible enough to use around the legs, arms and hips. Itcan also provide relief from hot flashes, headaches and fevers.
Check Out: Chillow® Plus Comfort Device
Cooling Face mask
While they're traditionally used to provide relief for headaches and puffy eyes, cooling face masks are also helpful during the summer. These masks can be worn at night to provide cooling relief. Use them topromote better sleep.
Check Out: TheraPearl Cooling Face Mask
Cold packs providecold therapy to areas of the body that have experienced sprains and resulting inflammation.But, they can also help you cool off quickly during a heat wave. The body contains a number of "pulse points" or areas where blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin and can cool off the body quickly when they come into contact with cold water or an ice pack. The most effective spots for a cold pack are the neck, wrists, the insides of elbows and knees and the inside of the ankle.
Check Out: Cara Ice Bag - 6 Inch Diameter
For larger coverage than a standard cold pack, oversized gel compresses are great options. Place them over specific pulse points or on a chair to provide cooling relief when you need it most. These sectionals contour to the shape of your body. Reusethemcontinuously to stay cool or to provide cold therapy to large sections of the body.
Reusable neck wraps are a great solution to cool off, as well.Neck wraps provide a more comfortable fit around this major pulse point, and can quickly reduce your body temperature to a comfortable level.
Check Out: KOOLpress Neck Contour Compress 23" x 7"
No matter where you're headed this summer, visit FSAstore.com first! Maximize the potential of your employee benefits and explore the many FSA eligible expenses that can keep you and your loved ones healthy year-round!
Chillow® Plus Comfort Device
This Chillow cooling pillow provides a cooling sensation for a comfortable rest.
Summer is all about fun for you and your family. Before you go outdoors, review these 5 summer safety tips to make sure everyone is protected from the sun.
1) Protect kids from the sun. If your kids will be outside for an extended period of time, be sure to apply sunscreen before they leave the house. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30+ for kids, and re-apply it if they play in the water or get sweaty from playing sports.
Sunscreen should also be applied and re-applied every two hours for protection. Remind the kids to stick to the shade whenever possible, and have them wear hats or other sun protective clothing. If you have a baby, there is special baby sunscreen (though it's best to keep babies out of the sun, as best you can).
Shop for Sunscreen for Kids
Shop for Baby Sunscreen
2) Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are eligible with a Flexible Spending Account, and you'll need a prescription to get reimbursed. Be sure to protect your eyes and your kids' eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses.
Shop for Sunglasses with an FSA
3) Get kids appropriate sports gear. According to WebMD, "If your children play team sports, make sure they have appropriate gear. Depending on the sport, this may include a mouth guard, face mask, helmet, pads, and shoes made specifically for the surface your child will play on." In addition, ensure that they're drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
4) Bring a first aid kit. Be sure to pack a first aid kit, especially if you're taking the kids to a playground, a theme park, the beach or elsewhere outdoors. You can leave the kit in the car or carry with you on your person. Keep band-aids, gauze, and other healthy essentials on hand for peace-of-mind and keep kids happy.
Shop for Children's First Aid Kit
5) Incorporate sun protection with bug spray. Be sure to bring bug spray, especially if you're headed into the woods for a day hike or taking an extended camping trip. FSAstore.com carries a sunscreen with bug spray,so an FSA keeps you covered!
Shop for Sunscreen with Bug Spray
Learn about ways that you can control the mosquito populations near your home and prevent mosquito bites this summer.
Each year, we hear frightening news stories about cases of West Nile virus and encephalitis and do what we can to stay healthy, but with the emergence of dangerous mosquito-borne pathogens like the Zika virus in the southern U.S., it's more important than ever to protect you and your loved ones from this seasonal threat. However, your summer preparations should go beyond just bug spray! Mosquito population levels are heavily contingent on the environment in which they live, and the layout of your home and yard could be helping them thrive inadvertently!
Remove all standing water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in puddles and any other location that features some kind of standing water.If you have any overturned buckets or pots that are allowed to collect rainwater in your yard, this is all the opening that these insects need to breed. As summer kicks off, take a closer look at your yard and check spaces like gutters for proper drainage and any garden items that can collect water and empty them out to eliminate a large majority of the mosquitoes in the vicinity.
Grow mosquito-repellent plants
If you have a deck or other outdoor area that your family uses often, try to frame this area with planters filled with plants that repel mosquitoes naturally. Some of the most easy to grow and care for include citronella grasses, catnip, marigolds, ageratum and horsemint. These plants have particular aromas that mosquitoes strictly avoid, which can make for a less-buggy environment outdoors.
If you've ever walked into a store and felt that cool breeze of air above you in the doorway, you've walked through an air curtain! These devices are extremely helpful for home mosquito control purposes, and they can be mounted above doorways and around outdoor living spaces to deter mosquitoes and other insects from entering these areas. Mosquitoes prefer still air and generally avoid windy conditions, and air curtains also double as an energy saver when mounted above doorways to prevent indoor air loss.
Your outdoor lighting choices may also have a major impact on the density of mosquito populations around your home. While LED lights do emit some blue light that attracts mosquitoes, they emit very little light in the ultraviolet spectrum and less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs. Best of all, LEDs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they are a great energy saver. While they will not completely prevent the attraction of bugs, they can make your outdoor areas more comfortable - and sustainable to boot!
Shop for sunscreen with insect repellent
This summer, protect your family all summer long with sunscreen with insect repellent and thousands of other FSA-eligible products at FSAstore.com! It's your money, use it to support the health and well-being of your loved ones!
As temperatures rise this summer, it's important to monitor your child's outdoor activity in terms of keeping them sun safe.
As temperatures rise this summer, it's important to monitor your child's outdoor activity in terms of sun safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a few tips to consider when you're thinking of sun safety and heat-related illnesses.
According to an article by the CDC, "Heat-related illness happens when the body's temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention."
In the article, the CDC also cautions to never leave children, infants, or pets in a parked car (even with the windows open), to minimize outdoor activity at peak sun times (go out in the early morning and evening instead, if you have that flexibility), keep cool with cool showers and baths, and dress children and infants in appropriate light-colored and sun protective clothing. These are just a few preventive measures to minimize the risk of heat-related illnesses and to keep everyone in your family sun safe.
The CDC further stresses, "Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors."
If you know you'll be out and in the sun for a few hours or at least part of the day, apply and re-apply sunscreen as much as possible. It's recommended that you wear sunscreen on your face every day - even on days where the sun isn't out. Other ways to stay sun safe may include seeking shade, bringing umbrellas and wearing protective clothing and wearing hats, if in direct sunlight for longer periods of time. If you'll be in or near water at any time, be sure to reapply sunscreen after you or your kids leave the water.
Shop for all your summer healthy product needs at FSAstore.com!
There is a risk of extended outdoor exposure that could lead to potentially serious problems: heatstroke. Learn more in the post.
Heat emergencies like heatstroke can arise quickly after an individual is exposed to excessive heat and humidity for an extended period of time. While it mostly affects children, older adults and obese individuals, it can afflict perfectly healthy men and women as well if heatstroke warning signs are ignored.
Cool down with yourFlexible Spending Account! Shop for these cold packs to keep you cool!
Here is how you can spot heatstroke and treat it effectively:
Heat stroke is the most advanced heat emergency and is the last progression from milder heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, fainting, and heat exhaustion, but unfortunately, it can also strike when none of these earlier symptoms are present. Heatstroke, which can worsen when coupled with dehydration, is essentially the body losing its ability to naturally regulate its temperature through normal immune system functions. By its medical definition, heatstroke occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which will continue to rise if he/she remains in the same hot environment. Heatstroke will feature the following symptoms:
- Hot skin: Skin will feel hot and dry to the touch during heatstroke, but it may also feel moist if brought on by intensive exercise. Skin may also become flushed and extremely red as the condition progresses.
- Poor mental coordination: Heatstroke can bring about an altered mental state, so this can be an early warning sign that something is amiss. Delirium, slurred speech, confusion, agitation and even seizures and coma can arise from the condition.
- Nausea: An unfortunate side effect of heat stroke is an upset stomach, and many heatstroke sufferers report nausea and vomiting in advanced cases.
- Headache: A sudden migraine or a headache that becomes steadily worse over time is a key indicator of an uncontrollable body temperature.
- Rapid breathing/heart rate: In the midst of heatstroke, the heart will work on overdrive in an effort to cool down the body, which will result in an accelerated heart rate. Additionally, breathing may become rapid and shallow as the body compensates to try and bring in enough oxygen to regulate body temperature.
Treatment for heatstroke
If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of heatstroke, time is a pivotal factor and medical help should be sought out immediately. In the meantime, the patient should be moved indoors to a cool environment or into the shady area where he/she will remove any unnecessary clothing. If it's possible, immerse the individual in a bath of cold water to quickly lower body temperature, or mist cold water onto the skin that will evaporate and cool the skin. Although heatstroke can be a frightening experience, with timely medical attention patients will usually make a full recovery.
Check out our other seasonal health tips by visiting the FSAstore.com Blog and explore the world's largest selection of FSA eligible products at FSAstore.com! It's easier than ever to maximize the potential of your FSA and support the wellness of your loved ones
At FSAstore.com, we even recently launched our new Dermatological Sun Care category with top brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and MDSolarSciences.
As warmer weather approaches and you get ready for spring and summer adventures, don't forget to include to wear sunscreen before you go out! Often, people think that sunscreen is unnecessary on a cloudy day, or that applying sunscreen doesn't help unless you're exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, but that's simply not the case.
Fortunately these are myths, and there's more good news: your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) covers Broad Spectrum, SPF15+ sunscreens, so you can protect your skin. At FSAstore.com, we even recently launched our new Dermatological Sun Care category with top brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and MDSolarSciences.
These are dermatologist-recommended sun care products that are also water resistant and suitable for every day wear. MDSolarSciences sunscreens are mineral broad spectrum sunscreens. Want to take a further look at Dermatological Sun Care? Browse the category and get ready for warmer temperatures with your FSA!
Let's explore three questions about sun care and matching dermatological sun care options:
1) "I don't need to apply sunscreen if an area of my body isn't directly exposed to sunlight, right?" This is actually wrong. According to WebMD, "The average T-shirt offers an SPF of about 7. Darker fabrics and tighter weaves provide more protection, but it is much safer to apply sunscreen to your entire body before you get dressed. Or better yet, wear clothing made of UV protective fabrics."
2) "I need the highest SPF to protect my skin, I think?" According to WebMD, this is myth, as a sun protection factor of 100 should be twice as protective as SPF 50. But it's only a few percentage points more effective. An SPF of 15 screens 93% of the sun's rays and an SPF of 30 screens 97%."
In addition, WebMD mentioned that you should re-apply sunscreen a few times, if you're exposed to direct sunlight a few hours at a time, and apply it your face no matter what the weather is like that day. If you're going swimming or get sweaty, you should re-apply sunscreen, as well.
3) I found a bottle from last year. I can still use that, right?
Wrong! Though sunscreens may not expire every year, you should be applying it enough so that you don't need to use last year's sunscreen supply.
Summer may slowly be winding down, but warm weather will be around for a while. Learn about three ways to keep your baby cool for the remainder of summer.
Even though the end of summer will be here before you know it, warm weather will be around a bit longer. And, you might be curious about ways to stay cool, or ways to make sure your baby stays cool, as well.
BabyCenter recently shared some great tips on how to keep your baby cool and comfy during summer, and here's how your FSA can help!
1. Keep your baby protected from the sun. Baby skin is very sensitive, and requires extra protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. Be sure to bring baby sunscreen for any outdoor outing, and to dress your baby in easy-breathing, cotton clothes and proper sun protection (wide-brimmed hats). Avoid the hottest moments of the day and go outside during off-peak hours (avoiding going out between 10am and 5 pm).
Shop for baby sunscreen with your FSA.
2. Ensure that your baby stays properly hydrated. According to BabyCenter's experts, "If your baby is younger than six months, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you do not need to give him water, even in hot weather. Babies who breastfeed whenever they wish do not get dehydrated." They added, "In hot weather, your baby may want to have more frequent, shorter feeds. He will get enough liquid from your breastmilk. These short feeds will give him more foremilk. This is thinner and more refreshing than the fat rich hindmilk. So let him have as many extra feeds as he wishes. If your baby is formula-fed, you could offer him some boiled, cooled water in hot weather.
Shop for baby care products with your FSA.
Shop for Medela with your Flexible Spending Account
3. Create a little oasis to retreat from the heat. Why not give your baby some time in his/her bathtub, a splash in the pool, or an inflatable, specially-designed baby pool? This will be a great way to help your baby cool off.
Averyimportant note from the BabyCenter experts, "Avoid taking your baby to an air conditioned room right after a bath
Switch on the air conditioner only after your baby is fully clothed and his hair is dry. Dress your baby in thicker cotton clothes and an inner vest if you plan to keep him in an air conditioned room all day. Babies can quickly catch a chill or cold if they are not well protected."
For more information and additional tips, turn to the extendedarticle with great tips from BabyCenter
Enjoy National Family Fun Month with an FSA. We share 10 tips for the month, so you can enjoy the last few weeks of summer before your kids return to school
August is National Family Fun Month! Now is the time to soak in the last few weeks of summer before the kids go back to class.
Here are a few ideas from us to make this month a memorable one!
1) Head Outdoors Water and amusement parks are great for the summer, or a more low-key option is to have a picnic at a local park. If you're feeling really adventurous - go camping! Just make sure to apply sunscreen while you're out and about.
2) Exercise as a Family Biking around your neighborhood is fun. So is playing catch with a baseball or bouncing a basketball around the court. After you're finished, cool off and relax your muscles with a cold pack.
3) Have a Game Night ...or day! Prepare some popcorn or other snacks and spark that competitive spirit while playing board games.
4. Prepare a picnic.Who says you need to travel far to have fun? You can prepare a picnic in your own backyard or take one to enjoy it in your local park.
5. Organize a get together in the local park. The kids are still enjoying the remainder of summer before it's time to head back to school. Why not invite their friends and parents to join you and your family at the park?
6. Enjoy a hike. Are you near the mountains or within a short range driving of them? Explore the great outdoors together and then rest up after a nice hike.
7. Havea cookout. If you have room in your backyard, why not have a summer BBQ? Prepare all the fixings with the kids and plan ahead with their favorite, healthy snacks.
8. Take a trip to the beach. If you're near the beach or within a few hours reach, why not take the family to the beach and enjoy some fun in the sun - you can swim, play beach volleyball or more! Just be sure to bring sunscreen for everyone and reapply it every few hours (and after swimming) to make sure you're sun safe.
9. Go to a county fair or find another local activity. Maybe you enjoy visiting farmers markets or exploring your own town. Make a day out of it by looking for activities for the family or create your own fun itinerary.
10. Create a scavenger hunt. Set up parameters for the kids and let them roam around safely near home. You can even invite their friends for added fun.
You can enjoy Family Fun Month with an FSA!Let your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)help through first aid, sunscreen, hot and cold packs,and more!Shop at FSA Store for all of these products and save by using your pre-tax FSA.