Summer is finally here, bringing endless sunny days, outdoor adventures, and a lot of fun in the sun. But amidst the excitement, we must remember the potential health risks that come hand in hand with this season.
Summer health risks range from scorching temperatures to pesky bugs and everything in between. However, regardless of these summer health risks, you can still have a fun summer with our guide on avoiding these dangers.
Today, we’ll uncover the secrets to enjoying fun in the sun while sidestepping common summer health risks. Our tips include how to prevent dehydration in the summer, how to prevent sunburns, tips to stay hydrated in summer, and other helpful information.
Understanding Common Summer Health Risks
What are summer health risks, and why must we pay special attention to them? Our world is governed by seasons, and each season has peculiar benefits and risks.
Just like winter ushers in skating and other winter sports but is also notorious for being “flu season,” summer also has health challenges.
Understanding summer health risks will help you prepare for them so that you know how to avoid them, and even if they occur, you’ll know how to handle them.
One obvious sign that summer has arrived is the heat. While you may be glad for the sunshine, you may experience adverse health conditions if your body cannot regulate your internal temperature to keep up with the heat.
What Is the Difference Between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion?
Two of the most prominent heat-related illnesses are heatstroke and heat exhaustion. You may wonder, what is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion?
Well, they have overlapping symptoms, but they differ in severity and other aspects.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness. It typically occurs when the body loses significant amounts of water and electrolytes through excessive sweating. In heat exhaustion, the body has a higher-than-normal core temperature but remains below 104F or 40C.
Heat exhaustion is characterized by excessive sweating as the body tries to cool down and reduce its core temperature. It usually occurs in individuals exposed to high temperatures and strenuous physical activity.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- Cool, moist skin
- Excessive sweating
- Fatigue and weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid heartbeat
Unlike heat exhaustion, heat stroke is a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. It is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, without which organ damage, seizures, coma, or even death may occur. Given the severity of heat stroke, we hope you understand how important it is to avoid dehydration in summer.
During heat stroke, the body’s core temperature is above 104F or 40C and can rise rapidly, leading to sudden deterioration. A person suffering heat stroke may stop sweating, leading to dry skin.
Unlike heat exhaustion, heat stroke can occur without physical exertion and is common in people with pre-existing health conditions. Symptoms of heat stroke include the following:
- Shallow breathing
- Throbbing headache
- Rapid heartbeats
- Impaired cognition
- High body temperature
- Hot, dry skin without sweat
- Loss of consciousness
How to Avoid Heat-Related Illnesses in Summer
Dehydration in summer is an important factor when you think about heat-related summer health risks. That’s why you need tips to stay hydrated in the summer, especially when you exercise.
Thinking about how to avoid heat stroke in summer? Here are some helpful tips.
This summer, make water your best friend. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This point is important because you have to be intentional about it.
It’s easy to get so caught up in your daily activities that you forget to drink water until you’re thirsty. You can have a water bottle close by to help you remember and drink as much water as you need to function properly this summer.
Water is the best choice for staying hydrated, but you can consume electrolyte-rich drinks or eat water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
Take Breaks and Rest
Whatever you’re doing this summer, whether working, exercising, or having fun with friends, the heat makes it harder. Pace yourself and take regular breaks, particularly during physical activities.
Listen to your body and rest when you start feeling fatigued or overheated. You can even use these breaks to hydrate and cool down.
Listen to the Warning Signs
We’ve told you the symptoms of heat-related illnesses; learn to recognize them and seek help immediately if you notice them in you or anyone else. Immediate medical attention may be the difference between survival and fatality.
Dress for the occasion; wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing. This type of clothing allows better airflow and helps your body regulate its temperature more effectively.
Remember, heat-related illnesses happen when your body can’t regulate its temperature effectively. So, lend it a helping hand and dress appropriately.
Sunburn and Skin Damage
Sunburn is the most common summer health risk because simple exposure, like, walking to the neighborhood store, can cause sunburn.
Sunburn can cause pain, redness, and swelling and increase your risk of skin cancer. It can also hurt your mental health because the skin damage can cause low self-esteem. So don’t forget your skincare routine during summer!
How to Prevent Sunburns
The number one sunburn prevention tip is to wear sunscreen. It’s not cosmetic; it’s a necessity. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and apply it generously to exposed areas.
Also, seek shade. We understand you’d like to soak in the sun, and that’s okay; it’s part of the summer routine. But you don’t need to expose yourself to direct sunlight for too long, no matter how much sunscreen you apply.
Another important point while discussing how to prevent sunburns is your clothing. As we’ve mentioned earlier, your clothing in summer is more than just a fashion statement; it’s armor against ultraviolet rays. Cover your skin with clothing that protects it from the sun. You can also accessorize with sunglasses to prevent glare from sun rays.
Now that we’ve discussed how to prevent sunburn remember that in your quest to avoid skin damage, dressing up to cover your body could easily lead to heat exhaustion or worse, depending on the activity you’re engaged in. So, find a balance.
As we’ve mentioned, dehydration in summer is one of the most common summer health risks.
Dehydration can happen anytime, but it is more common during summer because your body needs more fluids to function properly.
During summer, the temperature is higher, and you sweat more, leading to water loss, and if you don’t replace the water your body loses via sweating, you’ll suffer dehydration.
Tips to Stay Hydrated in the Summer
The most important tip for avoiding dehydration in summer is to drink plenty of water; nothing can replace water. Remember, you don’t have to wait till you get thirsty to drink water.
As we said earlier, you can carry a bottle to help you drink enough water. Also, you can set reminders to help you remember that you need to drink water. Yes, it’s that important.
A good marker of hydration is urine color. Your urine should be pale yellow or clear if you drink enough water. You’re not getting enough water if it’s dark and has a strong smell.
In addition to drinking water, eat fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Insect Bites and Stings
Summer is full of sunshine and cheer, but that’s also when the insect comes out to play; they love summertime just as much as you do. Mosquitoes, bees, wasps, ticks, and chiggers are all active in summer, increasing your chances of being stung or bitten.
How to Keep the Bugs Away
Summer is the season for all things bright and beautiful and all creatures great and small, but you don’t want them buzzing around you all the time. Here’s how you can keep them away.
- Apply insect repellent as a first line of defense. Rub repellent on exposed skin and clothing according to instructions on the label, and those bugs will buzz off.
- If you’re camping or spending time outdoors, use screens on windows and doors to prevent insects from entering your living spaces. Use mosquito nets around beds or when camping to create a protective barrier.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to minimize exposure to insects, especially if you’re visiting areas where insects are likely to be, like, tall grass and dense vegetation. Also, if you’re having a picnic outdoors, cover food and drinks to avoid attracting insects.
- If you encounter stinging insects like bees or wasps, remain calm and avoid sudden movements. Do not swat at them or flail around, as this is likely to provoke them and increase your risk of being stung. Slowly and gently move away from the area. We know it’s easier said, but you have to try,
Waterborne Illnesses and Accidents
The warm summer weather creates an ideal environment for germs and other microorganisms to flourish, increasing the chance of contamination. When splashing in the summer warmth, you risk contracting waterborne illnesses like gastroenteritis, norovirus, and E. coli.
Another water-related inner risk is drowning or near-drowning accidents. These usually involve unsupervised children or people who can’t swim well.
How to Stay Safe in Water During Summer
You can enjoy summer without any water-related summer health risks by doing the following:
- Supervise children: It’s easy for the little ones to slip away when they’re not closely supervised, so keep an eye on them so they don’t get in the water without supervision. Make sure they wear life jackets, especially if they don’t know how to swim.
- Choose safe areas: Choose only designated areas like swimming pools and avoid untested bodies of water like ponds or lakes because you never know what may be lurking in them. Make sure there’s a lifeguard on hand when you go swimming.
- Be cautious around natural water bodies: We know we said you should avoid untested natural bodies. However, some water bodies are popular spots and community favorites; safety rules still apply when you visit them. Avoid swimming alone, go with a group, and ensure everyone looks out for one another. Look for natural hazards like strong currents, sudden drop-offs, or underwater obstructions.
Also, check weather conditions before swimming in natural water bodies. Avoid swimming during thunderstorms, when there are strong winds or high waves.
During the summer, certain foodborne illnesses tend to be more common due to warmer temperatures, outdoor activities, and increased consumption of perishable foods. Examples of summer foodborne illnesses include salmonella, E. coli, and listeriosis.
Avoiding Food-Related Summer Health Risks
What’s summer without food? Of course, you’ll fire up the grill and have your family and friends over. However, food infections may spoil the party. Here’s how to stay safe.
Handle foods properly with the highest possible hygiene. Wash your hands with touching food and ensure that all cooking and eating surfaces like plates, utensils, and chopping boards are clean before use.
Before you use the grill, clean it thoroughly, then preheat it to kill any germs lurking there. Ensure you cook foods appropriately using the right internal temperature; you can use a thermometer to check the temperature.
If there are any leftovers after that backyard party, refrigerate them immediately or consume them within a few days.
The bust of colors from flowers is one of the joys of summer, but if you have allergic reactions, you probably don’t like this part of summer so much.
Summer allergies are caused by pollens from grasses, weeds, and trees, which are released into the air when the weather is warm and dry. Also, summer is usually abuzz with insects, and some people have allergic reactions to their bites and stings. Common symptoms of allergic reactions in summer include:
- Itchy eyes
- Itchy throat
- Runny nose
- Sinus congestion
- Stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
How to Avoid Allergic Reactions During Summer
Allergic reactions can be a real party spoiler, but they don’t have to rain on your parade if you know how to counter them.
Stay informed about local pollen levels and limit exposure when levels are high. Also, keep windows down on days when pollen levels are high. If you go outdoors, especially if you visit forested areas or gardens, take off your clothes immediately after you get home and wash them to remove pollen.
If you’re allergic to insect bites and stings, wear protective clothing and use insect repellent to keep them away.
Have a Healthy Summer With Craft Medical
Summer comes with its healthy tusks, but we won’t let them spoil your fun. If you follow all we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of any summer health risks and can go about your summer without worries.
We’ve discussed tips to stay hydrated in the summer and how to prevent sunburns. We’ve also answered the question: “What is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion?” Now, you’re 100% ready to tackle the summer with the utmost caution (while still having fun, of course).
Here at Craft Medical, we’re all about giving you the resources possible to have the best quality of life — all from home. Our clinic is a men’s health clinic that’s entirely online, specializing in complications like ED, low testosterone, stress, weight management, and more.
If you’re ready to get your health and wellness back on track this summer, all you have to do is click here or the button below to get started.