Conquer Summer Threats

Summer fun comes with plenty of injury risks. Swimming accidents, lawnmower hazards, and sports injuries are all things we risk when spending more time outside. Most of us, however, are at greater risk of being harmed by “smaller” threats. Here are some examples and tips for dealing with them.

  • Too much sun: The sun can affect you with either sunburn or heatstroke. Fight both by being smart! Avoid prolonged time in direct sunlight. Schedule outdoor activities for mornings or evenings. Wear a hat and sunscreen, and drink plenty of water. Above all, always remember that long-term exposure to the sun today can increase your risk of skin cancer in the future.
  • Things that bite: With the threat of Lyme disease and West Nile virus, insect bites are more than just an annoyance. While bites can happen anytime and anywhere, take special care in the evening and in wooded, grassy, or wet areas. In those situations, cover up with lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and wear insect repellant on exposed skin.
  • Things that sting: For some people, bee stings mean more than a little pain and swelling. They can be deadly. If someone is stung and begins suffering serious symptoms like disorientation, difficulty breathing, or increased anxiety, get medical help immediately.
  • Plants that make us itch: You usually don’t know you’ve run into poison ivy or poison oak until your skin breaks out. If you do realize what has happened right away, quickly wash the affected area with soap and water, and (wearing gloves) wash any clothing or animals that have touched the plant. If you do get a rash, soothe it with calamine, oatmeal baths, or similar topical treatments.

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