Common Summer Health Concerns Ushered in By Summer
The seasonal changes can conjure up health issues, summertime is no exception. Discover how to address summer health concerns while still having fun in the sun.
Summer is for beach days and barbecues! Your time of worrying about getting sick gets left with those wintertime blues.
Hmm… not so fast.
Did you know that the summer brings its own crop of health concerns with it? While you may not have to deal with the flu and rainy season, there are summer health concerns you should be aware of.
Let’s look at some of the common health concerns and learn how to keep your family summertime safe.
Fun in the sun comes along with heat – lots of it. And too much heat can have life-threatening effects on your body.
Heat stroke happens when your body’s cooling mechanisms aren’t able to keep up when exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity. This leaves your body’s core temperature rising to dangerous levels.
Signs of heat stroke include headaches, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing, and the sudden absence of sweat.
Protect yourself by limiting your time in the sun. Keep plenty of water on hand and if you feel yourself getting too hot, move to a cooler setting as soon as you can.
When the sun comes out, everyone heads outdoors for the fun of cookouts and picnics. But don’t let food poisoning ruin your next barbecue.
Bacteria love to grow in warm, moist environments, making food poisoning a prime summer health hazard. Food left in the sun or out of a refrigerator for too long can cause bacteria to multiply in extreme numbers.
Take extra care to store food safely, keeping refrigerated foods cool as long as possible. Always wash your hands and keep raw meat away from other food items. And pack up those leftovers promptly.
A big health hazard of enjoying those summertime rays is getting a sunburn. And while that pink sting can feel like earning a summer participation badge, it’s actually putting your health at risk.
Too much exposure of UVA and UVB rays will burn your skin. Many people don’t realize these are first-degree burns. Even more exposure, like falling asleep outdoors, can cause second-degree burns.
In fact, five or more sunburns in a lifetime will double your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.
The best way to avoid a sunburn is to not go out into the sun at all. If that’s not an option, take extra precautions. Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and stay in the shade.
It doesn’t take much to work up a sweat in the summertime. Heat and humidity can draw it out of you in no time. But always remember, what goes out should go back in!
Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water during the summer heat. If you plan to be outside, carry a water bottle with you. Make sure you’re also taking breaks in the shade.
Don’t forget to pack enough water bottles for the kids as well. Since kids don’t usually stop playing to take a drink, keep track of it for them to make sure they stay healthy and hydrated.
Bug Bites and Stings
The summer months don’t only see an increase in temperatures, they also see an increase in bugs. And when you and those insects are spending quality time together outdoors, the chances of bites and stings will go up.
While bites may seem itchy and annoying, don’t forget those insects can also be carrying unwanted diseases. For example, ticks can transmit Lyme Disease and mosquitoes could expose you to the West Nile Virus.
Protect yourself by using insect repellent every time you plan on being outside. Protective clothing such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts help. It’s also a good idea to clean up standing water and overgrown landscaping around your home.
If you happen to get stung, be on the lookout for an adverse reaction. Developing hives, a tightness in your chest, dizziness, or swelling of the tongue needs medical attention right away.
To you, it’s just known as summer. But to medical professionals, it’s known as “trauma season.” That’s because the summer season sees more hospital visits than any other season, and for good reason.
The clock gets set back, giving people more time to be outdoors. Kids are out of school with more time to play. Plus, summer activities become more prevalent.
That’s when water activity injuries happen, along with bicycle and lawn mower accidents. More people out on road trips means more car accidents. And fireworks are a popular, yet dangerous, summer pastime.
Use common sense to keep you and your family safe. Limit or eliminate the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Operate equipment as directed, or better yet, leave it to the professionals.
The sun’s rays aren’t only damaging to your skin. Many people forget that too much exposure can also have damaging effects on your eyes.
UVA and UVB exposure increase your likelihood of developing glaucoma or cataracts. Sun damage will also cause the delicate skin around your eyes to form those dreaded lines and wrinkles.
Buy a pair of sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UV rays. Be sure to wear them every time you expose your eyes to the sun, even on cloudy days when it doesn’t seem so bright.
To beat the summer heat, your feet may encounter many moist environments, from pool decks, wet sand, saunas, locker rooms, and sweaty shoes. It’s the perfect recipe for the spread of Athlete’s Foot.
A fungal infection causes Athlete’s Foot, which thrives in warm, moist conditions. This fungus can be picked up through direct contact with the infection or skin particles found on floors and shoes.
It leaves your feet feeling blistered, cracked, and causes intense itching. The skin on your feet may also look red and scaly.
The easiest way to protect you and your family is to always wear shoes, not flip flops, in common areas for the fungus. Plus, keep your feet clean and dry on a daily basis.
Keep Your Summer Health Bright This Season
Your family deserves those care-free days in the summer sun. And now that you know what summer health concerns to watch out for, your summer days will be brighter and healthier!
Looking for more ways to keep your family healthy? Check out the resources Meritage Medical Network has to offer you!