May through September are the busiest months in hospital ER rooms. After being cooped up for months, it’s no wonder everyone just wants to be outside enjoying the sunshine and outdoor activities (camping, going to waterparks, grilling). This just means that you and your family are more at risk for scrapes, sunburns, ticks, heatstroke, and allergies. The good news? Follow these tips and tricks to avoid the most common summer injuries and ailments so you can enjoy your summer.
Fix: Stay hydrated! You may think that spending the day swimming or floating down the lazy river would count for staying hydrated, after all you’re surrounded by water! To stay hydrated you physically need to drink water, not just float and play in it. While spending your day in the water does help your body stay cool, it’s also important to sit in the shade and enjoy an ice-cold glass of water. Be on the lookout for signs like disorientation and lack of sweating. When your body sweats, it’s the natural way for the body to cool itself; dry skin in hot weather could be a warning sign of heatstroke according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fix: Lather up! Did you know that UV rays can damage your skin within as little as 15 minutes of exposure? So, wear those big fashionable hats, those swim tops and coverups, lay under an umbrella, and most importantly, re-apply the sunscreen. It’s also extremely important to hit those often-missed spots: feet, ears, hands, and even hairline.
Fix: Since the sun isn’t the only thing that’s hot in the summer, make sure to proceed with caution when cooking and grilling outdoors. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages grillers to check for broken seals or gas leaks before starting to grill, keep children and pets away from the grilling area, use long-handled tools, and to avoid wearing baggy clothing.
Fix: Lyme’s disease can cause major health problems if you’re bitten by an infected tick. To avoid those pesky critters protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, hats, and pants while venturing out into nature. Also, spray yourself with insect spray that contains DEET. When you come back from your adventure make sure to check your clothes, skin and especially hair. If you have a fur-faced friend who’s joining you on your outdoor adventures, make sure they are equally protected with proper preventative treatment and check them over when you get back.
Fix: AHHHHCHOOO! No one wants to listen to someone sneeze and have watery eyes while on vacation. Although those with allergies have them all year round, the symptoms are heightened during summer months due to the increase in pollen, ragweed and grass floating in the air. Prevent congestions and uncomfortableness by doing indoor activities when temperatures and pollination are high, taking medication (please seek medical advice first), and sleep in regularly washed bedding.
Sources: CDC, 2014; NFPA, 2016