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July 1, 2023

Managing Common Summertime Illnesses: What to Know

Summertime is a season of fun and outdoor activities, but it also brings with it a range of common illnesses that can put a damper on your plans. From sunburns to food poisoning, being aware of the potential health risks and knowing how to manage them is essential. We’re sharing some of the most common summertime illnesses to prepare for and providing practical tips on prevention, symptoms, and management. By educating yourself on can summer illnesses, you can ensure a healthier and more enjoyable summer for you and your family.

Sunburn and Heat-related Illnesses

One of the most prevalent summertime illnesses is sunburn. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to painful and potentially long-lasting damage to the skin. To prevent sunburn, it is important to apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the peak hours of sunlight. In case of sunburn, cool compresses, aloe vera gel, and over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief.

Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, are also common during the summer months. These conditions result from prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate hydration. To prevent heat-related illnesses, it is crucial to stay well-hydrated, wear loose and lightweight clothing, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as dizziness, fatigue, and confusion, is important for quick treatment. If severe symptoms occur, seek medical attention.

Foodborne Illnesses

Summertime often means outdoor picnics, barbecues, and potlucks. However, improperly handled or stored food can lead to foodborne illnesses. Bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella or E. coli, can cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. To prevent foodborne illnesses, ensure proper food handling, such as washing hands, cooking foods thoroughly, and refrigerating perishable items promptly. It is also advisable to avoid leaving food out in hot temperatures for an extended period. Don’t forget this during your summer picnics and backyard barbecues!

If you or someone you know experience symptoms of food poisoning, it is important to stay hydrated and avoid solid foods until the symptoms subside. In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary, especially if symptoms persist or get worse.

Insect Bites and Stings

With the arrival of summer, insects become more active, increasing the risk of bites and stings. Mosquitoes, ticks, bees, wasps, and other insects can cause itching, pain, and allergic reactions. To minimize the chances of insect bites, use insect repellents, wear protective clothing, and avoid stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. If a bite or sting occurs, clean the affected area, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and use over-the-counter antihistamines or topical creams to relieve symptoms. Severe allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, require immediate medical attention.

Swimmer’s Ear and Skin Infections

Swimming and water activities are synonymous with summer, but they can lead to inconvenient health issues. Swimmer’s ear, an infection of the ear canal, is common among individuals who spend a lot of time in the water. To prevent swimmer’s ear, dry your ears thoroughly after swimming and avoid inserting objects into the ear canal. If an infection occurs, over-the-counter ear drops or prescribed antibiotics may be necessary.

Skin infections, such as fungal infections or impetigo, can also be more prevalent during the summer months due to increased humidity and perspiration. Practicing good hygiene, keeping the skin clean and dry, and avoiding sharing personal items can help prevent these infections. In case of an infection, topical antifungal or antibiotic creams are usually effective, but if symptoms worsen or persist, medical attention should be sought.

By being aware of common summertime illnesses and taking preventive measures, you can ensure everyone in your family stays healthy this summer. Remember to protect your skin from the sun, practice proper food handling, take precautions against insect bites, and be mindful of potential swimming-related infections. If you experience severe symptoms or if the illness persists, do not hesitate to seek medical advice. Avance Care offers convenient same-day and next-day appointments, as well as telehealth appointments, so you can get the care you need when you need it. With these tips in mind, you can keep summertime illnesses at bay and make the most of the warm and sunny days ahead.

This article is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice from or consultation with your healthcare provider.

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