The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer, and smells of fresh flowers and barbeques permeate the air. It’s summer time, and that means there’s more time to relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the outdoors. Don’t let these warm months tempt you into letting your guard down completely: with the warmer months come health concerns. It’s important to be prepared and work to prevent illness before it starts.
Preventing the Top Three Summer Illnesses
Keep Hydrated – Some of the most common summer ailments stem from dehydration. If you’re spending time outdoors, especially during the hottest hours of midday, make sure to take in plenty of water. Signs of dehydration include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fainting. If it escalates to heat stroke, a person can become irritable, have hallucination, and even seize. The best thing to do is to try to rehydrate the person with clear liquids and cool them with icepacks or cool washcloths, or take them to the ER if their condition is severe.
Keep Foods Refrigerated – Foods that have mayonnaise, dairy, eggs, or meat can start to grow bacteria only two hours after sitting out of a cool container. Sound like the kind of foods that make up your family picnics and barbeques? To prevent food poisoning, make sure that foods are stored in a cool place, either in a refrigerator or an ice-packed cooler.
Wear Sunscreen – Though information about melanoma and the importance of sunscreen has increased, so have the number of sunburns. Having more than five sunburns doubles a person’s chance of developing skin cancer. To prevent these first degree burns, lather up with a UVA and UVB sunblock of at least SPF 30. Make sure to re-apply after two hours or after swimming.
Summer is a time for enjoyment. Don’t let these preventable illnesses keep you from enjoying your share of the sunshine.