Summer is officially here, and for many families that means an action-packed outdoor schedule. No fun comes without risk, however.
Summer is known as “trauma season” due to the seasonal increase in injuries: from manning the family barbecue to battling the surf, and everything in between.
Here are the four most common summer ailments, along with ways to avoid them and to keep you and your family safe:
It’s easy to get caught up in an intense game of basketball or touch football, but staying hydrated is essential under the blazing rays of the sun. Dehydration can lead to exhaustion, muscle cramps, delirium, or even a heat stroke – a potentially fatal condition that kills about 1500 Americans every year.
Safety TipsKeep a bottle of fluids at your side when engaging in any physical activity, especially on hot days, and drink 2-4 glasses every hour that you’re active. If you or one of your kids is participating in any strenuous activity, opt for a sports drink that contains electrolytes and some carbohydrates. This will maintain key salt and mineral levels in your blood and allow for a healthy blood flow.
Spending time outdoors is the essence of summer, but don’t let UV radiation get the best of you! Too much sun can not only burn you, it can accelerate wrinkling and other signs of aging, cause skin cancers like melanomas, and even cause acute flu-like illnesses.
Related Blog: The Importance of Summer Skin Safety
Make sure to invest in sunscreen rated at SPF 15 or higher, with both UVA and UVB protection – reapply it every 2 hours and as soon as you swim or sweat. Many people make the mistake of leaving the tips of their ears and necks exposed, leaving painful burns so remember to cover any exposed skin and reapply sunblock frequently. UV exposure also affects your eyes; keep them covered with sunglasses, which in the United States offer protection from UVA and UVB rays regardless of cost.
And don’t be afraid to seek shade, or limit your time under the sun during the peak hours from 10-4 PM.
Mosquitos tend to prey at dawn and dusk and around bodies of stagnant, untreated water, so think twice about long walks by the lake as the sun goes down, and empty out anything around your home that could collect rain or sprinkler water and allow mosquitoes to breed (like flowerpots, buckets, and birdbaths).
Protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, socks, and pants, and use a proven insect repellent, like DEET or Picaridin (when older than 2 months of age).
Drowning is a leading injury related death for children: three children die each day from it. Ensure your family is educated about water safety to keep them out of harm’s way.
Make sure there is constant adult supervision whenever kids are in the water. Per the CDC, “Because drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone, and using alcohol or drugs.”
Keep kids from running through any slippery areas around the water and don’t let them dive in shallow water.
Make sure that they know how to swim, and that you learn how to perform CPR.
Get Seen by Your Doctor
Amidst the summer frenzy, you and your children can get basic check-ups and sports physicals at your local primary care centers in Irvine, Costa Mesa, and Fountain Valley. If you encounter any type of injury, feel free to stop by the Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, or Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care Centers. You can easily schedule an appointment online at any of our Urgent Care Centers to avoid wait times.
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