How to Treat Common Summer Ailments — Dehydration, Bug Bites, Sunburns & More
More the 29 million people receive treatment in the emergency room for injuries every year, according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with summer being the riskiest season. To avoid becoming another statistic and making your summer memorable for the wrong reasons, this guide outlines how to deal with common summer problems:
Change in your water-consumption habits is necessary with the change in season. Water is your body's principal component and natural detoxifier, so it's imperative that the body receives enough water in hotter and dryer seasons.
When experiencing dehydration the body acts to increase water intake and decrease water loss. Depending on how much of your body weight is lost through fluids, dehydration can be mild, moderate or severe. Two early signs of dehydration are thirst and dark-colored urine.
Other symptoms may include:
- Very dry mouth or skin
- Little or no urination
- Sunken eyes
- Dizziness or light-headedness
Many precautions should be taken to avoid injury by insects, simple measures such as:
- wearing shoes outdoors
- keeping food covered when eating and drinking outside
- avoiding the usage of products with strong perfumes
- applying insect repellent
- avoiding camp sites near water such as ponds or lakes.
All of the above will greatly decrease your chances of being bitten.
Fire departments respond to an average of 8,200 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, most frequently during the summer. Top tips for safe grilling include:
- Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
- The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your apparatus clean by removing grease and fat buildup from the grill and in trays below it.
- Never leave your grill unattended!
Heat rashes caused by excessive perspiration, usually in hot and humid environments which makes it easier for dead skin cells and bacteria to block the sweat glands, trapping the moisture and causing rashes.
Whilst heat rashes normally clear up on their own in a few days, its important to keep cool and dry if you do develop a heat rash. Avoid using any type of oil-based product that may further block your sweat glands. Wearing light and loose-fitting clothing made from cotton will also reduce your chances of getting a heat rash.
Sunburns are burns that harshly affect the skin due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Avoiding the sun at peak hours is key to preventing sun damage and sunburns.
Be sure to use sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The higher the SPF, the higher the protection, but it's also important to check the expiration date on your sunscreen. Wearing a hat, along with lightweight and bright-colored clothing and staying out of the sun at peak hours, can also reduce your chances of getting burnt.