The summer season is definitely here, and with it comes weekend getaways, summer Fridays, and longer days. If restrictions allow, time to get outdoors hit the beach and go on a camping trip. However, simply because ice-covered streets, snow, and flu season are a thing of the past for now. This does not mean individuals could allow their guard to be dropped as it relates to health. The rising temperatures and summer season come with a plethora of health risks as well. Individuals still have to be aware and conscientious, even though the priority is summer fun. In this article, we will share some of the most common summer health hazards and how to prevent them.
Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke
As the temperature starts rising, it is more than just uncomfortable; it is very dangerous and could be fatal as well. On average, extreme heat sends 65,000 Americans to the emergency rooms yearly. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion, the most dangerous of the illnesses related to heat, could happen when the individual is incapable of cooling down properly. This normally occurs after extended exposure to excessive heat. For example, exercising outdoors or working under the heat of the sun. Heatstroke is considered to be a more extreme case of heat exhaustion. The good news is that is it preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the symptoms to be on the lookout for are: muscle cramps. Vomiting and nausea; pale, cold, clammy skin; heavy sweating; loss of consciousness; dizziness, headache, or confusion; a fast pulse. Dry, red, hot, or damp skin and a body temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or over.
Individuals are advised to adjust activity and work schedules and slow down in order to remain cool during the midday. As this is the time of day the sun has a tendency to be the most intense. It is recommended to check in on family and friends to ensure that they are fine. This is particularly crucial for the elderly and young, as these are the most at risk of suffering heatstroke.
Mild To Severe Dehydration
This is always on the lips of individuals nowadays: Drink more water. However, when absorbing the heat from the sun, playing a sport or taking in summer cocktails, it is even more vital to ensure consuming water is a priority. Miss it for too long and the individual could end up suffering from dehydration, which could range anywhere from mild to severe.
Throughout the entire day, try as much as possible to drink lots of water, specifically if the individual is spending episodes outside in the sun. It is recommended that individuals that are planning to be sweating or lounging outdoors. Aim for sixteen ounces of water per hour, plus think of reducing any strenuous activity during the daylight hours of 10 am and 2 pm. This is the time period that the sun is at its strongest.
Sun Damage & Sunburn
One of the best parts of summer is arguably the long, sunny days. However, this could also be one of the most dangerous to the largest organ, which is the skin. Stay outside for too long without sunscreen and individuals could be more than just sunburned. It could also appear on the skin with sunspots, fine lines, and wrinkles. What is more is that it could increase the risk of developing skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer within the United States.
Restrict time spent outside as much as possible, if this is unavoidable, try to find shady areas whenever a possibility. What is more important, ensure that sunscreen becomes a daily habit, regardless if the sun is shining or not. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 which safeguards against both UVB and UVA. The top of the feet, scalp, ears, back of the knees, chest, and back, and front of the neck are places to apply the sunscreen. After applying the sunscreen ensure that sunglasses and hats are worn as well.
There is really nothing more that says summer like a pool or beach day. However, swimming comes with its share of dangers. These range from diving injuries to infections to even drowning, the leading cause of accidental death among children between one and four years old. This danger has increased due to the ubiquity of smartphones. As more adults are glued to their screens, they become more distracted from being attentive to their children in the water.
The American Red Cross has outlined some safe swimming tips that should be considered, in particular, if poolside. In the event a child is missing, check the water first. Each second is vital in preventing disability or even death. Ensure inexperienced swimmers and children have on life jackets; however, do not depend on them solely. Stay clear of distractions when overseeing children around water. Never leave young children without supervision or unattended. Have a swim buddy, never allow anyone to swim alone. Only swim in designated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.
Insect Bites & The Spread Of Diseases
As individuals explore the wonderful outdoors and traipse through hiking trails, be mindful of insect bites. These are not just annoying, but they have the ability to transmit serious diseases. In particular, be on your guard for mosquitoes and ticks; mosquitoes are capable of transmitting diseases such as Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus. For those that reside in the Northeast, ticks could transmit as much as sixteen infectious diseases, such as Lyme disease.
Ensure that insect repellent is used; even though the hike might be a short one. In the event that the individual is camping, think about pre-treating the tents or hammocks with insect repellent as well. It is possible, wear long sleeves and long pants, with the socks tucked into the pants, even during hot days. It is also recommended that individuals remain in the middle of trails when hiking, plus avoid areas with tall grass. It is also recommended that if in tick-infested areas, shower or bathe within two hours of the outing. Plus wash the clothes in hot water, and dry them on high heat as well.