As the days warm up, your family is probably spending a lot more time outdoors. While this can mean tons of summer fun, it also brings with it a wide range of health issues that aren’t as common during the winter months.
Here are nine common summer health hazards to keep in mind when enjoying time outside this season.
Spending more time outdoors often leads to an annoying rash for some. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are quite common around our area. Knowing what each of these plants look like and avoiding them is a great way to keep from having a skin reaction. If you must touch the leaves—such as when doing yard work—make sure to wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plants.
#2: Sun Damage
You can’t talk about summer health hazards without covering the dangers of sun damage. As anyone who has ever gotten a bad burn can attest to, spending too much time out in sun is more than just bad for your health—it can be downright painful!
Before stepping outdoors, make sure you are wearing a sunblock with at least an SPF 70 rating. Put on a hat and sunglasses. In addition, if you are taking part in rigorous activity where you will be sweating or in the water, reapply your sunscreen often. For those unlucky individuals who do end up with a sunburn, aloe vera gel or a cold compress can help.
#3: Home Improvement and Lawn Care Injuries
Lawn care and power tool injuries are another common summer health hazard. Each season, thousands of unlucky Americans are injured or hurt while working in and around their homes. Unfortunately, some are even killed. Common instances include lawnmower injuries, power tool injuries, and many others.
Keep this type of accident from happening to you by taking all appropriate safety measures. Wear closed shoes and pay careful attention to what you are doing when operating a tool or yard care device. Also, watch out for falling limbs when trimming trees—one of the top causes of household related fatalities in the United States.
#4: Sports Injuries
Summer fun includes spending time outdoors playing beloved sports and hobbies. This also means tons of urgent care and emergency room trips nationwide for soft-tissue related injuries. Sprains, strains, and other related sports injuries are quite common. To avoid this, always use caution when taking part in physical activity and try not to overexert your body.
Concussions are another common issue amongst those who are active. If you suspect that you or your child has suffered a concussion, contact your local Pearland urgent care center immediately.
#5: Dehydration and Heat Stroke
Getting enough water is extremely important during the summer months and beyond. Failure to do so could lead to a very serious health condition called heat stroke. While the on-set symptoms of heat stroke can be treated, the damage to your body will persist long after—in some cases, even causing death.
Avoiding heat stroke starts with making sure you are properly hydrated and limit outdoor exposure on extremely hot days. Common symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, vomiting, fever, and an increased temperature. There may or may not be sweating associated with the condition. If you believe that you have heat stroke, take shelter immediately indoors or any other place that is cool.
#6: Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is another common summer ailment that leads to an urgent care trip. While it is not life threatening, it can put a serious damper on your summer fun with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
Picnics, barbecues, and other family gatherings are a great place to spend time with those you love. However, it is very important to practice proper food safety techniques, such as refrigerating side dishes as necessary and cooking meats to proper temperatures.
#7: Insect Bites
Summer is also a main time for insect bites to occur. Mosquitoes and chiggers are common during the warmer months in Texas, so it is important to put on a commercial insect repellent containing DEET before stepping outside. Tick and mosquito bites can lead to serious illnesses, such as Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus, making it extra important to include this repellent as part of your normal routine. It is also important to stay away from areas where you see a wasp or bee hive, as many people are seriously allergic to the stings.
If you do end up bitten, most over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams will stop the itch, while icing down the area will help reduce swelling.
#8: Firework Burns
Sparklers and fireworks are a ton of fun in the days leading up to the Fourth of July. However, they can cause series burns, eye injuries, and even worse if they handled incorrectly. Always use great care when lighting any sort of explosive device and take proper safety precautions.
#9: Broken Bones and Falls
Treatment for broken bones is also common during the summer months. Many people, including children, take part in physical activities that they wouldn’t normally do when it is cold outside—riding on an ATV, spending time in a tree fort, or even climbing a ladder to perform maintenance on a home. This can lead to falls, which commonly precede broken bones. If you think you or your child might have a broken bone, visit your local low cost urgent care center immediately.
Of course, if you do encounter any of these nine health hazards, our staff at Prime Urgent Care is standing by to help take care of your needs. Please call to make an appointment or utilize our walk-in clinic.