Top Summertime Health Hazards

Summertime weather in south Louisiana lasts well beyond the first ring of the school bell. As you continue to spend time outdoors, stay vigilant about protecting your family from the hazards that long days and high temperatures bring --- from insect bites to dehydration and sunburn.

  • Dehydration is common during the summer, so be sure to keep a water bottle with you and drink often. Symptoms of dehydration are dizziness, nausea and fatigue. If you suspect someone is dehydrated, have him lie down and cool him off with ice packs and cool cloths.
  • Insect bites and bee stings can cause serious reactions in some people. To stay free of bees and wasps, avoid heavy perfumes, wear insect repellent, and guard sugary foods and sodas as they attract insects. If you are bitten, ice the affected area and take an antihistamine for itching. If you experience extreme swelling, dizziness or tightness of the chest, see a physician immediately.
  • Ticks are dangerous because they can transmit Lyme Disease. If you live in a heavily wooded area, or if your child attends a summer camp which offers lots of outdoor activities, inspect your child (especially his scalp) for ticks. Usually, a tick can be removed with tweezers, but if not, see a physician. Lyme Disease symptoms include a rash accompanied by fever, fatigue and headache.
  • Sunburn is easily avoided by applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) often while you’re outdoors. Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m), and wear sunscreen even when the weather is cloudy and even when you are in the shade.

* The Surgeon General issued a new Call to Action to help prevent the rapidly growing number of skin cancer cases in the United States.

About the Author

August 6, 2014