Summer is here, and with it comes longer days, summer Fridays and weekend vacations. It's time to go outdoors, go to the beach, and continue your camping trip that was delayed because of uncooperative weather.
But just because the flu season, heavy snow and snow-covered streets have passed, does not mean that you can relax your guard on health. Summer and rising temperatures also bring many health risks.
“That whole 'school’s out' mentality continues through adulthood, with patients more likely to cut corners when it comes to health during the summertime,” says Nitin A. Kapur, MD, a primary care physician with Cedars-Sinai Medical Network in Santa Monica, California. “It’s still important for people to be conscientious and aware,” even when summer fun is the season’s top priority.
Here, experts share the most common summer health hazards, the symptoms to look for and how to prevent them so you can stay safe and healthy throughout the summer.
1. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion-restrict strenuous outdoor activities When the temperature reaches extreme heat, it is not only uncomfortable, but also dangerous and potentially fatal. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 65,000 Americans in extreme heat are sent to emergency rooms each year.
Heatstroke and heatstroke are the most dangerous types of diseases related to high temperature. Heatstroke occurs when the body cannot be cooled properly after being exposed to excessive heat for a long time (such as working outdoors or exercising). Dr. Kapur explained that heat stroke is a more serious case of heat exhaustion. Good news? This can be prevented.
Prevent it Dr. Kim Knowlton, assistant professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University in New York City, advises people to slow down and adjust work and activity schedules to stay cool at noon, when the sun tends to be the strongest.
Dr. Knowlton recommends checking friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay. According to a study published in the July-September 2015 issue of the Journal of Advanced Urgent Care, this is especially important for young and old people, as they are most susceptible to heat-related illnesses. The most important thing is to stay vigilant, Knowlton said, he studies the impact of climate change on public health. "If you start to feel uncomfortable, please take the heat seriously."
Here are some symptoms to look out for, according to the CDC:
A body temperature of 103 degrees F or higher
Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
A fast pulse
Headache, dizziness, or confusion
Loss of consciousness
Cold, pale, clammy skin
Nausea or vomiting
2. Mild and severe dehydration-don't diet
We often hear: drink plenty of water. However, when going out to bask in the sun, drinking summer cocktails or exercising, it is particularly important to put drinking water first. According to the National Library of Medicine, if you do not drink it for a long time, you may become dehydrated, ranging from mild to severe.
Prevent it In short, drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when you are outdoors in the sun. Kapur told patients who plan to hang out or sweat out to drink 16 ounces of water an hour and consider reducing vigorous activity between 10 am and 2 pm, when the sun is strongest.
3. Sunburn and sunburn-make sunscreen a daily habit Long and sunny days are arguably one of the best weather in summer, but they may pose a threat to our biggest organ: our skin. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if you go out for too long without sunscreen, you will not only get severe sunburn, but also make your skin age, wrinkles, fine lines, and sunburns, and it also increases your risk for skin cancer, which is the most common cancer in the United States.
Prevent it Kapur said, once again limit your time in the sun, and choose a cool place as much as possible. The most important thing is to make sun protection a daily habit, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to prevent UVA and UVB rays, and reapply actively.
Where to apply sunscreen that is often overlooked? The front and back of the neck, the back of the chest, the back of the knees, the ears, the scalp, and the top of the feet, adds Natasha Mesinkovska, MD, who is the clinical research director of the Department of Dermatology at the American University School of Medicine. California is in Irvine. Once you apply sunscreen correctly, don't forget that wearing sunglasses is not just for fashion; UVA and UVB rays can also harm your eyes.
4. Water-related injuries-practice safe and supervised swimming
There is nothing more representative of summer than a beach or pool day. But according to data from the CDC, swimming has many dangers, from infections to diving injuries, and even drowning. This is the main cause of death from accidental injuries among children aged 1 to 4 years. This danger will only increase with the popularity of mobile phones. As more and more adults scroll on the device, when they are in the water, they may be distracted by paying close attention to the child. The Children's Hospital of the Philadelphia Institute recommends that an adult be a "designated water observer", similar to a designated driver.
Consider these tips for safe swimming settings provided by the American Red Cross, especially in swimming pools:
Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
Swim with partner; no one is allowed to swim alone.
Do not leave young children unattended or unattended.
Avoid distractions when supervising children by the water.
Let children or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets, but don't rely on them completely.
If the child is missing, please check the water source first.
Every second is important to prevent death or disability.
In addition, if you often find yourself susceptible to swimmer’s ears, according to the CDC, the external auditory canal of the ear is infected, please try to wear earplugs while soaking, Kapoor suggests.
5. Insect bites and disease transmission-pay attention to yourself and your surroundings Knowlton said that when hiking and exploring outdoor activities, don't forget to pay attention to insect bites. They are "not only annoying, but they can spread serious diseases." Pay special attention to ticks and mosquitoes-mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus and dengue fever. For people living in the Northeast, according to the CDC, ticks can carry up to 16 different infectious diseases, including Lyme disease.
Prevent it Kapoor says insect repellents are used even during short hikes. If you are camping, consider pretreating your tent or hammock with insect repellent. Knowlton added that if you can, even in hot weather, you can wear long sleeves and long pants, and tuck socks into your pants. After outdoor activities, be sure to check yourself, your friends, family, and pets for ticks.
The CDC also recommends staying in the center of the trail when hiking, avoiding high grass areas, and treating clothes with products containing 0.5% permethrin, which is an antiparasitic drug and can also be used as a deworming agent. If you are worried that you are in an area where ticks are infested, they also recommend that you take a bath or shower within two hours after the outing, wash your clothes with hot water, and dry them at high temperatures.
6. Allergies and poison ivy-prevent contact When it comes to allergies, we usually think of spring, but according to Knowlton, rising temperatures and prolonged warm seasons will also increase pollen production and prolong the allergic season. Kapur pointed out that pollen falling on the surfaces we touch, such as picnic blankets or outdoor furniture, can also cause skin allergic reactions or contact dermatitis.
Another common allergen to watch out for when spending summer time outdoors? Poison ivy grows in most parts of the United States. You don’t even have to directly touch the poisonous oil of the poison ivy plant, it can cause itching, rashes, and blisters; according to the American Dermatology Association, it can be spread through sports equipment or camping equipment, pet fur, and clothing.
Prevent it Check the pollen count in your area on the website of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. In order to keep pollen-free at home, Knowlton also recommends using a damp cloth to remove pollen from hair and skin, or showering immediately when coming in from the outdoors, washing outdoor clothes and bedding to remove pollen attached there, and vacuuming regularly. For oison ivy, wearing long pants and long sleeves when hiking or phen entering areas with such plants is the best way to avoid this troublesome summer side effect.
7. Food safety-pay attention to spoiled or undercooked food
Who doesn't like outdoor dining? However, whether it is a barbecue or a picnic, the key is to consider how long your feast has been left unrefrigerated, or whether the hot dishes on the grill are really cooked. "We forgot that the mayonnaise on the tuna salad really needs to be refrigerated, or how long our food has been in the car or outside," said Kapoor, who has seen many picnickers suffering from gastrointestinal discomforts such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Prevent it CDC recommends refrigeration and separate poultry and seafood from other foods to prevent cross-contamination, wash hands frequently when handling food, clean grills and tools, and cook meat thoroughly to achieve safe barbecues. Kapur urges anyone who packs food or stores leftovers to take care of refrigeration.
At 29 years old, my favorite compliment is being
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daughter up top, makes me so proud of how far I’ve come, and so thankful
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