Summer is many peoples favorite season, and I’m no exception. I love to be outside in the warm air, go camping, biking and gardening, but with summer activities come a few health concerns you can prevent with a little forethought and preparation.
Heatstroke can happen without much warning. To prevent it, keep yourself and your family well hydrated, and avoid vigorous activity during the hottest hours of the day usually between noon and 3:00 pm..
Dehydration is caused by insufficient water intake for the amount of activity a person is engaging in. Drink plenty of water, especially when exercising or in extreme heat.
Too much sun can give a person a nasty burn, damage skin, and bring a lot of pain along with it. When enjoying the sun, stay in the shade when possible, and use some type of sun protection when you are exposed. Hats, sunglasses even a sheer long sleeved shirt are good options if you don’t have or want to wear sunscreen
Bike riding, hiking, roller bladeing and other fun summer activities can bring scrapes. Avoid this by wearing knee-pads when riding any kind of bicycle, and teach safety to your children.
Another possible and much more serious bicycle injury is concussion. Always wear safety helmets, and insist that your children do the same. My family rides dirt bikes in the summer and helmets have been their saving grace on more than one occasion.
6. Insect Bites
No one wants to deal with the itch of an insect bite. Insects such as ticks and some mosquitoes can even carry diseases like Lyme. Always use an insect repellent. You can make your own at home using a spray bottle filled with water and essential oils such as lavender, geranium, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Shake vigorously before spraying, and apply often.
7. Seasonal Allergies
Sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes are not the most enjoyable way to spend ones summer. If you are looking for a remedy other than over the counter, try some natural solutions. Use a neti pot to flush allergens from your sinuses. Taking two teaspoons of local honey per day at the onset of allergy season is also thought to help keep away seasonal allergies.
8. Swimmer’s Ear
When swimming is a main part of your vacation, swimmer’s ear can be a painful side effect. Prevent this by tilting your head to let water drain after swimming, and avoid swimming in dirty water. Wearing earplugs can help, but not everyone can stand wearing them. My family uses a few drops of equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in each ear after a swim to prevent ear infections from trapped water.
9. Sun Damage to Eyes
To protect your eyes from the suns effects, wear sunglasses specifically made to shield them from ultraviolet A and B rays. Even children can be taught to wear sunglasses when they go out.
With swimming comes the risk of drowning. Prevent this by keeping careful watch of your children when around any bodies of water, and teaching everyone water safety skills. Don’t let small children play in little plastic wading pools unattended, it only takes a couple of inches of water for a small child to drown.
11. Muscle Injuries
Summer encourages us to try new forms of activity. When doing something new, always take care not to overexert your muscles, as this can lead to pain.
With regular schedules suspended, longer daylight hours and new things to try, we can overexert ourselves. It’s easy to stay outside and work or pay until dark, but try to stick to a basic schedule each day, including regular bedtimes. Dont push your family too hard by packing in too many activities.
Traveling can bring us in contact with new viruses. Try to eat wholesome foods which will help your body fight the germs, and get plenty of sleep.
14. Animal Attacks
When hiking, always travel in groups and make lots of noise. When camping, keep food sealed in containers and locked in cars, and dont leave leftovers lying around.
When hiking, it is a good idea to wear clothing that covers your entire body to prevent contact with plants that may cause skin irritation. Avoid touching plants you are not familiar with.
Summer is wonderful. Keep it that way by using caution and taking measures to avoid health issues. This will help ensure your summer remains full of fun, and reasonably free of problems.