Summer is the season of both laid-back evenings and adventurous vacations. It’s the part of the year that most of us set aside time to accomplish things that we don’t have time for during other seasons… even if that thing is simply making an effort to relax.
The same components that come together to create a season of fun and festivities also create a distinct set of potential health concerns that can have harmful impacts on you and your family if they are not recognized and prepared for before the summer is in full swing. Thankfully, a little thought and preparation is usually all it takes to prevent any summertime health troubles from arising.
In high temperatures, you’re sweating far more than usual; and if you’re not consistently hydrating, you’re likely to wander into dangerous territory. The more extreme form of dehydration is heat stroke, which occurs when one’s internal temperature rises to dangerous levels; heat stroke kills hundreds every year.
Heat-related emergencies can cause many different issues. It can lead to cramps and rashes, and even to heat edema, which is the swelling of the legs. There’s also heat tetany to beware of when experiencing high stress in high temperatures.
It can’t be stressed enough that drinking enough water, and planning vigorous activity for the cooler parts of the day during the summer months matters to your health.
Avoid the Burn
This one seems too obvious to need its own section, and yet despite the fact that sunburns are preventable, they remain very common. Summer after summer, we often fail to give the those UV rays their due respect and our skin takes the hit.
Avoiding sunburn isn’t necessarily easy during the summer, but it is simple. Stay out of the sun when possible, and when you can’t use sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 or higher. This is the perfect time to invest in a sun hat or bathing suit cover-up that will be equal parts sun-safe and fashion-forward.
Even our four-legged friends need protection from the sun and heat, and can suffer from sunburn. Many people like to shave their animals when the days get longer but before you do that, check with a groomer and make sure you won’t actually be disrupting their ability to regulate their temperature.
The number of summertime accidents is higher than during other seasons of the year, because the activities are happening more frequently. Summertime has been hailed “trauma season” for hospital emergency rooms. Kids have more time to play, and the longer hours of daylight even create a 25-30 percent boost in adult cases of trauma.
Lawn mowers, motorcycles, trampolines, and boats can all create high-risk situations.
The days between Memorial Day and Labor Day have been cited as teenage drivers’ 100 most dangerous. It is during those busiest of traffic seasons that teenagers most often run into trouble. Not only are there more families traveling, but the parties and BBQs frequented by both teens and adults contribute to dangerous behaviors like driving while intoxicated, and the repercussions of something like a DUI can be seemingly endless.
Bugs are universally acknowledged as the most annoying part of warm weather. If you and your family are going to spend any amount of time outside this summer, you’re likely going to run into problems with insects.
Wasps and spiders and ticks, oh my! If you live in a place where fall and winter are marked by cooler temps, it’s likely an unhappy moment when you realize that the bugs are back. However, you aren’t helpless against them. You need to start by keeping them out and making sure you contract any roofing contractors before summer begins. Keep out the bugs before you begin to eliminate them!
You can take some proactive steps to ensure that you keep pests away from your home. If you have a pool or other bodies of water at your home, take steps to protect your yard by ensuring that mosquitoes can’t find a home there. Educate yourself so that you can identify nests that house potentially harmful insects like wasps. It’s also wise to wear layers in earthy, muted tones and to apply an insect repellent when spending extended time outside.
Have a Happy, Healthy Vacation Season
The risks associated with summer certainly exist, but they don’t have to ruin your family’s fun. Being willing to anticipate where hazards may impact your plans and then responding accordingly is the key to having a summer that you will be able to look back on with fondness for years to come.