Swimming pools and beach vacations make for endless summer fun, but exceedingly high temperatures that soar through the upper 90s and above can quickly put a damper on anyone’s summer plans. Severe heat and humidity in the warm summer months can be unbearable at times, and if you don’t take proper health precautions it can also be extremely dangerous. Here are the serious summer health risks you need to watch out for, and how to make sure they don’t happen to you.
Heat stroke happens when your body overheats. The average body temperature that’s considered healthy is 98.6 degrees. When you’re suffering from heat stroke, your body’s temperature rises above 104 degrees. This usually occurs when you’ve been exposed to extreme heat for long periods of time, especially if you’re exerting yourself with physical activity. This is why heat stroke commonly happens in the summer.
Heat Stroke Symptoms
- High body temperature
- Altered mental state/behavior: Someone suffering from heat stroke may experience delirium or slurred speech and confusion.
- Heavy breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe headache
Heat Stroke Prevention
- Try to stay in the shade when you’re outside as much as possible
- Make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water and fluids
- Wear sunscreen as sunburn can affect your body’s ability to cool itself down
- Wear lightweight clothing that allows your body to cool
- Don’t go overboard with exercise or physical activity
Dehydration happens when your body loses more water than it takes in. If your body doesn’t have enough water it can’t function properly. Severe cases of dehydration affect major organs, sometimes leading to kidney stones or even kidney failure. You become vulnerable to dehydration when you fail to drink water in extremely high temperatures. The cure for dehydration is to drink more fluids, but severe cases may need medical attention. If you have the following symptoms you may be experiencing dehydration.
- Less frequent urination
- Dark colored urine
The best way to avoid dehydration in the summer months is to drink lots of fluids when you’re exposed to heat.
Ticks and Mosquitoes
Ticks and mosquitoes are another serious health risk throughout the summer months as they can transmit infectious diseases like West Nile or Lyme disease. There are no vaccines to prevent these diseases so it’s important to take proper precautions to prevent contracting them. To protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes
- Apply insect repellent spray: Be sure your insect repellent contains the ingredient DEET.
- Reapply insect repellent as needed
- Wear long sleeves and long pants if you’re walking through tall grass or woody areas
- Wear light colored clothing so you can see ticks more easily
- Check yourself thoroughly for ticks after being outside
Whether you’re hiking through the woods, or relaxing at the beach, there are serious summer health risks that have dangerous outcomes if not treated properly. Be aware of these signs and symptoms and prevent them from happening with these summer safety tips.