You think sunburn is the only thing you need to worry about this summer?
As warmer weather hits up most states, it’s always fun to engage in activities that we otherwise couldn’t partake in during colder weather: hitting up the beach, the pool, the lake, and every other outside activity that’s possible.
But be warned though, as with everything, your fun can pose some risks to yourself and other people in your family, most especially the very young and the very old.
We’ve found some of the most common ailments that strike when the weather gets hot, and how to prevent and treat them:
Flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, gnats, ticks, you name it, and they’re probably nearby and get particularly active when it’s hot.
While most insect bites just leave behind annoying itchy bumps, there are venomous ones too, and symptoms of bad bug bites can include hives, joint pain, a fever, and swollen glands; most especially prevalent and all the more alarming if the person is allergic to these bites.
While prevention can include wearing long sleeves and pants when you’re out and about, of course it can get too hot, but there are already bug repellent sprays and even bug repellent stickers out on the market that cater to your needs. Remember, get the DDT-free though, and citronella is always a good option!
But in case you get bitten or stung, it’s good to remember the following first aid measures to take: first remove the stinger, wash the area with soap and water, then apply a topical cream. If there is immense discomfort, an ice pack and pain relief meds can alleviate some of the discomfort before professional medical help arrives.
The summer cold
You’d think colds are more prevalent in winter time: when the air is dry and most indoor heated air is recycled, or during allergy season in spring.
But summer can be just as bad, with most of the nasties in the air especially prevalent in outside settings like concerts where you’re tightly packed in with other people, or in airplanes when you’re on a trip.
Remember to take your supplements, cough into your elbow or a handkerchief, and drink plenty of fluids!
One of the more serious heat-related ailments to look out for, heat stokes a.k.a hyperthermia, is a condition caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
It’s when the heat overwhelms your body’s natural ability to cool itself, and among the symptoms to look out for include headaches, dizziness, weakness.
Heat stroke can potentially lead to organ failure and even death, so the next time you’re planning an outdoor excursion in the summer time, especially when you’ll be out around 10am – 3pm when the sun is at its highest and the heat doing the most, remember to bring lots of water and even ice packs; anything that can be used to cool you down.
If you suspect you or a companion is showing signs of hyperthermia, immediately wet their extremities with water or some ice packs, or place them near a source of cool air.
Seek medical attention immediately, so professionals can determine if you have internal complications like muscle breakdown, which is damaging to vital organs.
The summer head ache
Weather notes that as the mercury soars, so does the risk of getting a headache. A potential cause of this temple-throbbing pain is the heat making the blood vessels in the head expand, which in turn applies pressure against nerve endings. Dehydration can also be a factor, so intake of fluids is crucial!
But if the pain is truly nagging, over-the counter medication, lots of rest and drinking water, and maybe taking it easy on the outside activities might help you.
When the fun under the sun gets kids going, they can forget to take a break to have some water, so that’s where the adults come in. When they’re especially active, kids sweat a lot and lose vital fluids in the process, so it’s important to call them over at a shaded spot every hour to refuel on water or juices, anything to stave off dehydration. This is also true for adults.
Signs of dehydration can include headaches, gradual weakness, dizziness, and even irrational or irritable behavior, so take time to rest and replenish your water intake.
The summer season can mean cook outs, fair-style food, and lots of parties, and you’re bound to find yourself in one soon.
Food poisoning can occur if food hasn’t been stored correctly prior to cooking or serving, and in the case of food with sauces and such, can go bad unnoticed, leading to stomach pain, vomiting, and even diarrhea.
While most upset tummies can be cured at home with some anti-motility medication and lots of water, medical attention is required in more serious cases.
Appearing as red blotches on the body, heat rash or prickly heat appears on parts of the body covered by clothing; developing usually in hot and humid conditions where sweat ducts become blocked and swollen. These can be itchy and inflamed, but heat rash tends to go away as long as the area is kept dry and clean.
But sometimes, there can be infection, where the red pimple-like marks become inflamed and secrete pus, and if this happens, medical attention is required.
Swimming and boating are some of the most preferred summertime activities, but having water in and around orifices like our mouths and eyes carries the risk of bacterial infection.
But it’s not always lakes, rivers, or other natural sources of water!
Hot tubs, pools, saunas, and the like, all carry with it bacteria and fungi that can be the cause of gastrointestinal problems, and even skin and ear infections.
But while risks lurk at every corner, don’t let it put a damper on your summer plans! It pays to be informed, so at least you’ll know how to respond accordingly.