Summer Health Risks

Summer Safety – Top 3 Summertime Health Risks

#1 Heat-related Illness
#2 Drowning
#3 Skin Protection

 

Heat Exhaustion

These occur when your body is unable to keep itself cool. Whether from physical exercise, or the humidity in the air slows the evaporation of sweat which keeps your body cool, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Feeling weak and/or confused
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fast Heartbeat
  • Dark-colored Urine

What should you do?  Get out of the heat quickly.  Find air-conditioning, or a cool, shady place.  Drink plenty of water.  Do not drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Take a cool shower or bath.  Remove unnecessary clothing.  If you do not feel better in 30 minutes, seek emergency help.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke occurs when your internal body temperature reaches 104ºF. Heatstroke can happen when your body gets too hot, or after heat exhaustion isn’t treated properly. It is much more serious than heat exhaustion and can cause damage to your organs, brain and in extreme cases, can cause death.

  • High fever (104°F or higher)
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness and feeling light-headed
  • A flushed or red appearance to the skin
  • Lack of sweating
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Fast breathing
  • Feeling confused, anxious or disoriented
  • Seizures

What should you do?  Call emergency services immediately.  If you are waiting for medical assistance, cool the person down in air-conditioning, a shady spot, remove unnecessary clothing, wet the skin with water, apply ice packs to armpits, groin, neck and back.

Learn more about Heatstroke here:  http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/heat-exhaustion-an-heatstroke.html

Sun Protection

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun (and indoor tanning equipment) is a preventable risk factor. Learn more about Skin Cancer and Tanning at FamilyDoctor.org

Drowning

About 390 children younger than 14 years old drown in pools and spas every year between May and August. 75% of these deaths occur in residential pools or spas! The American Family Physician (aafp.org) has a good article posted ‘Prevention of Unintentional Childhood Injury‘, which speaks to not only preventing drowning, but many other common childhood injuries.

How You Can Prevent Drowning
Drowning can happen very quickly and in less than 1″ of water. Maintaining a safe environment (inside the home and pools) in addition to being prepared in the event of an emergency, is key to preventing unintentional drowning. Visit ‘Preventing Drowning‘ from familydoctor.org for more information.

 
 

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Information provided on this website and in the Doctor’s Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.