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How to Avoid Summer Health Hazards

July 12, 2016

Summer is finally here! As much fun as the extra sunshine and warmer temperatures can be, summer also poses a few health hazards you’ll want to be extra aware of in the coming months. To help you beat the risks this summer, we’ve broken down the most common summer health hazards into three categories: water safety, sun safety and outdoor safety.

Water Safety

Drowning

Drowning is obviously the most serious health hazard related to water safety. Luckily, it’s also one of the most preventable. Know your own swimming limits and always swim with a buddy or in a lifeguard-protected pool.

Recreational Water Illness (RWI)

Public swimming pools are a great way to cool off in the summer, but they can also be crawling with bacteria that can cause illness—particularly gastrointestinal distress. Do your best to avoid swallowing any pool water and rinse off in the shower before and after swimming.

Swimmer’s Ear

Though typically not serious, swimmer’s ear can be painful and require a trip to the doctor’s office. Avoid this infection by drying out your ears completely after swimming. If using a towel and shaking your head sideways isn’t doing the trick, try swimmer’s ear drops to rinse and dry your ear canal—you can even make your own with isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar.

Sun Safety

Sunburns

We all know sunburns are painful and dangerous to the future health of your skin. Take care of your skin this summer by regularly applying sunscreen, seeking shade when possible and wearing hats and loose-fitting clothing to minimize exposure.

Heat Illness

When your body temperature rises rapidly and it can’t cool itself properly, you’re at risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Be mindful of how excess heat is affecting your body and stay inside as much as possible on days with an unusually high heat index. If you do need to be outside in the heat for long periods of time, do your best to stay as hydrated as possible.

Outdoor Safety

Bugs

Bugs like mosquitos and ticks can carry dangerous diseases. Stay safe by wearing insect repellent or covering your arms and legs in heavily wooded or grassy areas. Learn about the symptoms of insect-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and West Nile virus so you’ll know if and when you need to seek medical attention.

Poison Ivy

While poison ivy typically isn’t dangerous, it can be very uncomfortable. Learning to recognize these infectious plants can save you from experiencing a painful and itchy skin rash; however, even if you become adept at identifying plants, it’s still best to err on the side of caution and wear long pants while hiking.

By making your health a priority this summer—and taking a few simple precautions—you can ensure the next few months are as enjoyable and relaxing as possible.

Start having the safest summer ever by downloading our free  guide: