Last month, we reviewed the dangers of heat stroke and heat exhaustion and how to avoid them. This month, we want to review other summer health issues you need to know about.
Below are six of the summer health issues the medical professionals at California Urgent Care Center think you should handle with care.
As days become sunnier and everyone begins to spend more time outside, sunburns become more frequent. However, sunburns do more than leave painful skin injuries. Sunburns can also increase your chances of developing skin cancer. To help mitigate the risks of increased sun exposure, use a high SPF sunscreen, wear hats or long-sleeved garments, find shade and avoid being out in the midday sun.
Extra tip: Use shades that block 100 percent of UV light to protect your eyesight as well.
One of the most popular ways to cool off in the summer is to go swimming. But over 4,000 people drown each year in the US, according to the CDC. This means it is important to take steps to protect yourself and others when you go out swimming.
- Swim in areas where lifeguards are present.
- Avoid running near the edge of pools.
- Supervise children when playing near water.
- Wear life jackets if you are an inexperienced swimmer.
- Avoid drinking and swimming.
In the summer, we all like going outside and enjoying the pleasant weather. Whether you do so by having a picnic or grilling, you need to be aware of food safety. Any food left unrefrigerated at room temperature for two hours needs to be thrown out. Any food left out in 90+ degree weather for an hour may be spoilt as well, so toss it. Meats and dairy can also go bad real fast. Remember to bring a cooler with ice for perishables and drinks to avoid food poisoning.
Summer is also when bugs are most active. And though a bug bite can seem like just an itchy annoyance, it can also transmit infectious diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus. To avoid bug bites and the diseases that go with them, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when in bug-infested areas such as parks and hiking trails. To avoid ticks, stay on the marked path and do not walk through tall grass. Wear bug repellant and treat your camping gear with repellant. If you have been in a particularly buggy area, check yourself, children and pets for ticks. You may also wish to bathe within two hours after returning from the great outdoors. Wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on the high heat setting.
For many people, allergies are something they only think about in the spring, but allergies are a year-round concern. In the summer, plants are still reproducing, which means there is still a lot of pollen in the air. This can set off fits of itching, watery eyes and runny noses. Avoid the symptoms of allergies by keeping your home clean and pollen-free. Vacuum regularly, change your home air filters and use a damp cloth to remove pollen from the hair and skin of family members who have been outside.
For some, summertime is more than just a chance to travel, it is also a time of fresh opportunities and experiences. Romance is often at the top of that list of experiences, but it is important to remember that you can contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) if you choose not to use protection. STD infections reached an all-time high for the sixth year in a row in 2019. This is why it is important to use protection and get tested before engaging in sexual activity.