Summer Time Tips
Bug Bites, Sunburn, and Camping Tips
Reduce the Risk of Sunburn
Summer is here! Being outdoors is hard to resist with such warm and sunny days! Protecting your skin from the sun is not just something to do in the summer. Protection should be used year-round.
Sunburn causes red, painful skin! Did you know that sunburn is a preventable cause of aging skin and skin cancer? Malignant melanoma is on the rise and is the most common cause of death related to skin cancers.
Want to reduce the risk of sunburn?
- Avoid being in the sun from the hours between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun.
- Reapply every 2 hours or more often if you are sweating or in the water.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats if outdoors during peak hours.
- Find shade where you can.
What type of sun block should I buy?
- Choose sun block that has UVA and UVB protection.
- Pick at least an SPF of 30.
How do I treat sunburn?
- Use NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug) for pain such as ibuprofen.
- Drink plenty of fluids Apply cool compresses for comfort.
- Apply creams for moisture, such as those with aloe.
Avoiding sunburn is the best way to reduce your risk for premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
Bug Bites and Stings
This summer arm yourself with education about the bugs of summer and dangers of their bites and stings.
Bees, Wasps & Hornets:
Bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings can be very serious, especially if someone has a severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. Symptoms include wheezing, trouble breathing, rapid heartbeat, nausea or loss of consciousness.
We’re all familiar with the itchy bumps left by the bite of a female mosquito. Mosquitoes can be more than an annoyance-they can carry serious disease like West Nile virus.
Mounds of granulated soil are a good sign that fire ants may be underfoot. If you accidentally step on a fire ant colony, hundreds of them will rush to attack you.
Ticks & Chiggers:
These pests are common in North Carolina. Their bites are usually nothing more than an annoyance, but ticks can carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
Avoid bites and stay safe this summer by following these guidelines:
- Remove standing water that could serve as mosquito breeding grounds
- When you’re outside, apply a good insect repellent that includes DEET
- Remove or avoid fire ant mounds
- Conduct thorough “tick checks” on yourself and your children, and promptly remove ticks
- Call 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect anaphylactic shock, and keep an Epi-Pen handy at all times if you have a known severe allergy t insects
- See your doctor if fever, headache or rash develops two to fourteen days after being bitten. Make sure to tell your doctor of the insect exposure
Kids: Heatstroke, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Cramps
All heat reactions are caused by high temperatures and an excessive loss of water from the body. When humidity is high, heat reactions happen more quickly because it is hard to sweat.
- Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well-hydrated.
- Have your child take 5-min water breaks every 20-30 min in the shade. Children weighing 90 lbs should drink 5 oz of cold tap water or flavored sports drinks every 20 min, and teens/adolescents weighing 130 lbs should drink 9 oz every 30 min, even if the child does not feel thirsty. He/She may not feel thirsty until he/she is almost dehydrated.
- Make sure to NEVER leave children in parked cars during hot weather.
Some signs of a heatstroke/sunstroke to look for in your child are:
- Hot/flushed skin
- High fever
- Confusion/passing out
What to do for your child:
- Move them to a cool place.
- Sponge them with cool water (as cold as is tolerable), and fan him
- Signs of heat exhaustion include:
- Cold/pale skin
- NO fever
You need to call your child’s healthcare provider IMMEDIATELY.
Signs of heat cramps include severe cramps in the legs, arms, or abdomen and no fever. Give your child a glass of cold water every 15 minutes until they feel better. Salty foods also help. Children with heat cramps do not require medical attention.
Swimming Pool Caution
It feels like 100 degrees and the sparkling water of the swimming pool looks so refreshing. Before you get in, you might want to know how clean the pool water is. Cryptosporidium and Giardia are fecally transmitted parasites and are linked to gastrointestinal illness outbreaks in swimming pools. These parasites can withstand chlorine disinfection for a considerable amount of time. Both of these illnesses can cause severe watery stools, abdominal cramps, malaise, bloating, and dehydration. Talk about a party pooper!
The best defence against Cryptosporidium and Giardia is to prevent them from getting in the pool. By following the CDC’s recommendations you can have a great time at the pool without any worries:
- Wait 2 weeks after diarrhea resolves to get in the swimming pools.
- Don’t swallow waster in the pool or any interactive water parks.
- Take children for bathroom breaks and check their diapers often.
- Change diapers in the bathroom, not in the lounge or poolside area.
Whether it’s your first time camping or you’re an old pro, it’s always wise to follow these safety tips:
- Pack a first aid kit including antiseptics, tweezers, insect repellent, snake bite kit, pain relievers, and sunscreen
- Bring emergency supplies such as maps, compass, flashlight, knife, waterproof fire starter, personal shelter, whistle, warming cloth, high-energy food, and extra water
- Check the weather
- Arrive early enough to have daylight to set up your site
- Check site for potential hazards such as glass, sharp objects, branches, ant beds, poison ivy, or bees
- Build fire in a safe area away from fuel-burning appliances and your tent
- Always have someone attending the fire
- Be cautious when using propane and read the instructions carefully
- Pitch your tent in a safe place
- Dispose of trash properly
- Beware of encountering wildlife
- Beware of poisonous plants by learning what potentially harmful ones look like