Summer is here, bringing plenty of fun in the sun! It’s important to consider, while you’re swimming, playing outdoors, or firing up the grill, that summer’s relaxation is not without risk. In fact, some health hazards are particularly prevalent at this time of year. Whether you’re playing or working, make sure you take precautions to stay safe this summer.
- Be mindful of summer’s pests. In the summer, mosquitoes swarm and more people fall prey to ticks because of time spent outdoors. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus, Zika virus, malaria, and other illnesses. Ticks carry Lyme disease and other illnesses like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. The lone star tick causes people to develop an allergy to red meat. To protect yourself from ticks, avoid brushy or wooded areas with high grass, and use insect repellents with 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. When it comes to mosquitoes, wearing long sleeves and pants, along with mosquito repellent, can help. Clear your home and yard of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, and keep screens on doors and windows. Mosquitoes don’t like colder temperatures, so air conditioning is also helpful.
- The ocean harbors some pests as well. Did you know that sea lice, hookworms, and MRSA are all risks of beachgoing? Sea lice are actually jellyfish larvae that can sting you, and hookworms come from animal waste in the sand. Bacteria including MRSA can sometimes be found in ocean water and sand, so be sure to shower thoroughly after any trip to the beach and never swallow seawater.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Dehydration is a major risk in the summer months, so drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration symptoms include extreme thirst, decreased urination, dizziness, confusion, and fatigue.
- Use caution around water. Avoid swimming alone, wear the proper safety gear when boating, and never leave kids unsupervised around water because drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in children.
- Be aware of dry-drowning. This is a condition that happens when water gets into the lungs. It can happen hours or even days after inhaling water, and young children are most at risk. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, a persistent cough, sleepiness, fatigue, and vomiting. Prompt medical care is crucial to prevent death.
- UV rays may be summer’s most common hazard. More than just painful sunburn, ultraviolet rays can lead to skin cancer later in life. Try to avoid sun exposure in the hottest hours of the day, wear proper clothing, and apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every few hours.
Even the safest person can still sometimes experience an accident or illness. If you need help this summer, Exceptional Healthcare can provide the care you need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. With 13 different locations across Texas to serve you, we’re here to help when you have an emergency. Visit our website to learn more or drop by to see our facilities for yourself.