EYE ON HEALTH: Summer health hazards
From hiking to spending time at the beach, most people look forward to spending more time outdoors during the summer months.
Dr. Todd Rudolph with American Family Care says, "It's nice to be out of the flu season. We all get outside, but along with that comes some of the inherent dangers of being outside."
Dr. Rudolph says there are six summer hazards that can not only make your plans sizzle out, but also make you sick.
He says keep these things in mind:
1. Shower before making a splash.
Dr. Rudolph says, "So all the things you have on your body from your deodorant to lotions to sprays, all of that can get in the water and interfere with chlorine's ability to do its job."
Dr. Rudolph says its also important to shower after getting out of the pool.
2. Next, protect yourself when you hit the trails or take nature walks from potentially fatal insect borne illnesses like Lyme disease.
Dr. Rudolph says, "You want to wear long pants tucked into your socks, treat your clothes beforehand with things like permethrin."
Then when you get back home, throw those clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill any ticks and check yourself from head to toe. Some symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, headache, and fatigue.
3. Remember to play it cool in the heat and educate yourself about heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Dr. Rudolph says, "When you're getting into danger, you start feeling light-headed, really nauseous, not sweating as much. These are signs you are getting into a danger zone. That's heat exhaustion."
With heat stroke, Dr. Rudolph says you stop sweating all together, and could pass out. Heat stroke can be deadly.
4. Take steps to make sure you don't get eaten up by mosquitoes.
Dr. Rudolph says, "Your sweat and playing develops lactic acid and mosquitoes love that stuff."
Drinking alcohol can increase your body temperature which is another attraction for bugs.
5. Make sure you stay hydrated.
Dr. Rudolph says, "Once you know you're going to be spending extended time outdoors, you already need to be drinking plenty of fluids before you ever go out there."
6. Finally, no matter your age or color, make sure you are applying sunscreen of at least a 30 SPF.
Dr. Rudolph says, "You want to make sure you apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before you are going to be outside and you need to reapply it regularly, especially if you have pale skin, red hair, lots of freckles, more prone to skin changes from sun exposure."
So enjoy your summer and spending time outdoors, but don't forget to take these safety precautions.
Dr. Rudolph says, "It's easy to forget all the important things to think about because you're just excited to be out having fun."