children playing in the pool

Safeguarding Your Health This Summer

Preventing Summertime Illnesses & Emergencies

As summer temperatures increase here in California and Arizona, many of us are heading outdoors to work out, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy all the season has to offer. However, the summer season also comes with the risk of certain medical conditions.

Here’s what you should know about a few of the most common to keep your family safe this season.

Water Activities

Whether you’re spending time in the pool, at the beach, or by the lake with family and friends — accidents can happen to anyone at any age. In fact, drowning remains in the top 5 causes of unintentional injury-related death from birth to 54 years old.

From getting hurt in the pool to accidental drownings, here are some tips to prevent an incident and keep your family safe:

  • Never swim alone.
  • For public areas, swim where a lifeguard is present.
  • Secure appropriate barriers around your home pool.
  • Jump into waterfronts feet-first instead of head-first.
  • Don’t swim during inclement weather (such as a thunderstorm.)
  • Designate adults as “water watchers” when kids are in the water.
  • Never dive into shallow water and abide by posted swimming rules.
  • Make sure your child wears swimming gear such as goggles and swim floats.
  • Keep obstructions, like pool toys, away from the water’s edge.

Heat-Related Illnesses

With temperatures reaching over 100 degrees during the summer months, it’s fairly common for people to experience heat-related illnesses. Here are some of the most common heat-related illnesses to be mindful of:

Dehydration

If you’re spending a lot of time out in the summer sun and aren’t paying attention to the warning signs, it can be easy to fall victim to this condition. Dehydration happens when your body is losing more fluid than you are taking in. When you lose too much fluid, it hinders your body’s ability to function properly.

While you may become dehydrated simply from being sick, one of the most common causes of dehydration is overheating on a hot day. So, remember to drink plenty of water and see your doctor if you are experiencing these emergency signs:

  • Dizziness or light-headedness.
  • Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing.
  • Fainting or unconsciousness.

Heat Exhaustion & Heatstroke

Heat exhaustion happens when you lose too much salt and water and can lead to heatstroke if your fluids aren’t replaced. Heatstroke, on the other hand, happens when your body temperature rises to 106 degrees or higher within 10 to 15 minutes and requires emergency medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps happen when you lose too much salt through sweating, resulting in muscle cramping in your arms, legs, or abdomen. Fluid and electrolyte loss commonly lead to heat cramps.

Skin Irritations

As we venture out to indulge in hikes, sports, and other activities, there is an increased potential for experiencing various skin irritants — from bug bites to reactions to certain plants.

Burns and Scrapes

From backyard barbeques and s’mores to outdoor sports, summer is full of hot temperatures and foods. Be sure to practice caution when getting active outdoors; whether you’re grilling or playing a game of soccer.

Sunburn and Sun Poisoning

Having itchy, peeling skin that’s sensitive to touch is never fun during the summer months, but it can also be detrimental to your health, leading to skin cancer in many instances.

Sunburns

Sunburns typically consist of red, peeling, and swollen skin that feels hot to the touch. In minor cases, applying aloe vera can help eliminate your symptoms. A severe sunburn however can lead to flu-like symptoms and other symptoms, like sun poisoning.

Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning is actually your skin’s allergic reaction to excessive amounts of UV rays when you’ve been out in the sun for long periods of time without proper protection. It causes blisters or a sun rash, and severe cases can cause dehydration and other flu-like symptoms.

When spending time outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen and cover up with sunglasses and long-sleeved clothing to prevent damage to your skin.

Bug Bites

Summer bugs are no small feat here in California and Arizona — especially if you’re out hiking on the trails or hanging outdoors by a fire. Here are some common insects that can cause a reaction while you’re outdoors this summer:

  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Mosquitos
  • Spiders (especially brown recluse and black widows.)
  • Blister beetles
  • Fleas
  • Chiggers
  • Conenose bugs
  • Tarantulas
  • Centipedes
  • Ticks
  • Fire ants
 

Most big bites will simply cause an allergic reaction, and you may experience redness or hives. If you notice a rash, have pain in your muscles near the affected area, or experience flu-like symptoms days after you’ve been bitten, you should see your doctor immediately.

California & Arizona Native Plants

In addition to bug bites, there are plenty of plants that could cause a reaction and require medical treatment. Similarly to a bug bite, if you’ve been exposed to any of the following plants and are experiencing a reaction, you should seek medical treatment:

  • Poodle-dog bush
  • Poison ivy
  • Poison oak
  • Sumac

California and Arizona Urgent Care for the Entire Family

Convenient care, walk-in work injury care, and onsite services are available at all of our Pinnacle HealthCare locations. We are proud to be trusted leading providers in family practice and general primary care services, offering a wide range of testing and screenings, as well as managing your overall health and well-being to the best extent.

If you’re in need of medical care this summer, visit one of our convenient office locations today, or for more information, contact us at: (831) 387-7177

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