Sunshine, long days, and warm weather are some of the many good reasons to head outdoors during summer. Illnesses like the cold and flu tend to be more common during winter. But summer comes with its own list of health hazards.
Here are the top summer health hazards and ways to stay safe if you plan on being outside.
Heat stroke occurs when your body cannot control its temperature. If you have heat stroke, your temperature may rise to 106°F or higher in 10 minutes.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Seek help right away if you are experiencing its symptoms.
Common symptoms of heat stroke include:
- Slurred speech.
- Loss of consciousness.
You may prevent heat stroke by:
- Drinking lots of water.
- Wearing loose clothing.
- Taking breaks in air conditioning.
- Staying inside on days that are extremely hot.
Sweating and not drinking enough water can cause dehydration. You may be at high risk for dehydration if you are an older adult or have diabetes.
A good way to prevent dehydration is to drink lots of water throughout the day. Drink more water when you are outside.
Common symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Dry skin.
- Urinating less than usual.
A bad sunburn can be painful. It also increases your risk for skin cancer. It can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable and dry out your skin.
Prevent sunburn by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Spend time in the shade whenever possible. Avoid being outdoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Bites from insects like mosquitoes and ticks can increase your risk for illnesses. Examples are Zika virus, Lyme disease, and malaria. An insect bite can even cause severe itching.
Ways to prevent insect bites include:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants.
- Choosing clothing that is loose and made from lightweight material.
- Applying insect repellent to your skin and clothing.
Summer is an ideal time to host barbecues and potlucks outdoors. But warm temperatures can make many foods spoil more quickly. This is due to how it increases bacterial growth. Eating spoiled food can lead to food poisoning.
Common symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Abdominal pain or cramping.
As a general rule, do not leave food sitting outside for longer than two hours—store food in coolers that close tightly. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.
Going barefoot can feel more comfortable than socks and shoes during the summer. But it also puts you at risk for foot injuries like puncture wounds. An open wound on your foot can increase your risk for infections. Athlete’s foot and plantar warts are common foot infections.
If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk for foot injuries than others. Diabetes can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet. This can make it difficult to feel puncture wounds. It also slows your body’s healing process.
Wear shoes at all times to avoid foot injuries. Wear rubber sandals to prevent slipping at pools and locker rooms.
Jai Medical Systems is devoted to helping you enjoy a safe and healthy summer. We encourage you to take the right steps to prevent all the above summer health hazards. Contact us today at 1-888-524-1999 to learn more about our benefits and services.