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Staying Safe This Summer



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Ah, summer: the season of swimming campfires, barbeques… and sunburn, allergies, and bug bites! Before you get out and enjoy the sunshine, make sure that you and your family are prepared to deal with these common summer health issues.

Dehydration/Heat Exhaustion

:

How it happens


• Exposure to high temperatures, combined with low water intake


Symptoms


• Headache, fatigue, nausea, confusion
• Over 600 people/year die from heat exposure in the US

Prevention Tips


• Drink at least 9 cups of liquid per day
• Stay indoors when possible
• Wear protective clothing and sunscreen (SPF 30+) outside

Treatment tips


• Drink plenty of extra fluids
• Apply cooling treatments (ice, cold water, air conditioning)

Swimmers Ear:



How it happens



• Excess water in the ear after wimping allows a bacterial infection to develop in the ear canal

Symptoms



• Pain, itching, fluid discharge, swelling, muffled hearing
• Swimmer’s ear causes 2.4 million health care visits per year

Prevention Tips


• Avoid swimming in water with high bacterial counts
• Dry ears thoroughly after swimming

Treatment Tips


• A doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops
• Use pain relievers

Asthma and Allergies



How they happen



• Heat, poor air quality, pollen, and physical exercise can trigger asthma or allergy attackss

Symptoms



• Coughing, sneezing, itchy nose and mouth, difficulty breathing
• 25 million Americans have asthma – 1 in 12 people

Prevention Tips


• Avoid triggers such as pollen, smoke, and pet dander
• Don’t over exert yourself

Treatment tips


• If having severe difficulty breathing , call 911
• Asthma attack: use a rescue inhaler (contains fast acting smooth muscle relaxant)
• Allergies: Take an antihistamine to reduce itchiness and congestion

Food Poisoning


How it happens


• Food prepared in unsanitary conditions or left outside becomes contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses
• Common culprits: E. coli, norovirus, salmonella

Symptoms


• Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever
• 1 in 6 people suffer from food poisoning each year

Prevention Tips


• Wash all produce carefully
• Prepare raw meats sperately
• Refrideragte foods after eating

Treatment tips


• Replace fluids and electrolytes with water, sports drinks, and juices
• A doctor may prescribe antibiotics in serious cases

Insect Bites and Stings


How they happen


• Bees, spiders, wasps, and other insects can inject venom by biting or stinging

Symptoms


• Pain and itching, swelling, hives (mild), nausea, shock, difficulty breathing (severe)
• 90-100 people die from allergic reactions to insect stings each year

Prevention tips


• Wear protective, light-colored clothing outside
• Avoid perfumes and colognes
• Steer clear of nests and flowering plants

Treatment tips


• Severe reactions: Call 911 if signs of allergic reaction appear – difficulty breathing, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, shock
• Mild reactions: remove the stinger and apply a cool pack
• Pain relievers may help with the stinging sensation
• Topical creams and antihistamines can reduce itchiness and swelling


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