Summer is a favorite time of the year for many, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about the major hazards it poses for your health. Here are 8 of the most common summer health dangers.
Dehydration is unfortunately common because many enter the summer months without a strong habit of staying hydrated. As you spend extended periods of time outside in hot weather, the high levels of sweat leaving your pores will require you to replenish your body with more water than you’re used to taking in. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, and even dangerously high internal body temperatures. Always pack more water than you think you’ll need for a day out in the sun.
Did you know that sunburn is a type of first-degree burn? Sunburn is known to be a major cause of skin cancer, but you might be surprised to find out just how much of a contributing cause it is. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, your risk for developing melanoma doubles if you’ve had a sunburn just five times in your life. In addition to wearing and regularly reapplying sunscreen, be sure to wear sun protective clothing.
Summer also happens to be a season of frequent picnics and barbecues, which means that perishable foods are left out for much longer periods than they should be. In addition, it’s only too easy to accidentally use the same plate for cooked meat that you did for raw meat, or to accidentally set food for serving on an unsanitary surface.
Lawn equipment injuries
Homeowners begin taking out their heavy lawn equipment out during the spring and into the summer, and this means increased risk for injuries involving your lawn mower, grass trimmer, hedge trimmer, and more. To prevent digits and extremities from getting caught in any blades, be sure to follow all instructions for use properly and to seek the help of a professional whenever necessary. Be sure to wear clothing that isn’t too loose and to keep hair tied back as well. When you need to tinker with some part of your equipment, be sure that it is turned off completely. And to protect yourself from any flying debris coming from your equipment, always be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves. Sanitize all food preparation and serving surfaces before using them, keep raw meat separated from everything else, and keep foods refrigerated or in an iced cooler as often as possible.
The summer months see a great many pool visitors, which unfortunately means that pool-related injuries are a commonly seen reality once again. Always keep a close eye on children as they play in the pool, especially because drowning so often isn’t accompanied by cries for help. As your children play in the pool, be sure that they aren’t diving into shallow areas or playing roughly near concrete edges, either. Running by the pool should also be discouraged.
One of the biggest sources of boating-related accidents is the drinking that so often accompanies boating. When boaters are out on the water with impaired motor control and judgment, they are much more likely to slip and fall or to attempt something dangerous from within the boat. Drunk driving is also very much a reality with driving boats as well. As for boating with your family, be sure that those on the boat—especially children who cannot swim—are wearing life jackets at all times
With Independence Day and celebratory fireworks comes another set of potential dangers as well. Going to a professional fireworks show will keep you away from the injuries involved in lighting your own fireworks, but if you do happen to get some store-bought fireworks for a celebration at home, be sure that someone who is experiences and who is wearing protective gear manages the lighting and disposing of your fireworks. And in case any small fires should arise when enjoying small fireworks at home, be sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
Mosquitoes and ticks are not only annoying—they can spread harmful illnesses like West Nile virus and Lyme disease as well. Wear protective bug spray when spending time in insect-heavy areas, and if you’re going to be walking through tall grass, be sure to wear long pants as well as close-toed shoes and socks.