Summer is a great time to be outside and enjoy the weather. But summer activities bring additional risks to your health. Be sure to be safe this summer by knowing these top 10 summer health risks. A little bit of prevention can keep your summer safe.
1. Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Over one million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. If caught early, skin cancer is usually treated easily. Skin cancer is more common in people who:
- have spent lots of time in the sun or have been sunburned.
- have fair skin, hair and eyes.
- have a family member who has had skin cancer.
- are over the age 50.
- You can check yourself for skin cancer every few months, get a free skin cancer screening, wear lots of sunscreen and avoid the sun when possible.
2. Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can be life threatening. In heat stroke, the body’s core temperature rises. Much like a fever, extremely high body temperatures can lead to permanent damage. Some signs of heat stroke include:
- short, rapid breathing
- stopping sweating
- a fast pulse
- If someone has these signs, call 911 immediately.
3. Food Poisoning
The CDC estimates that 76 million people suffer from food poisoning. Summer time is full of picnics, and picnics bring food out into the open where it can stay warm too long. Avoid an outbreak of food poisoning this summer by following simple guidelines about food safety and food handling. Common sense will prevent you and your friends and families from coming down with a food-borne illness.
4. Eye Damage
UV rays in sunlight can damage your eyes. If you are out in the sunlight in the summertime, be sure to wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Otherwise, your sunglasses are opening up your pupils by making things darker, which actually lets in more UV rays, not less. Be sure your sunglasses filter out 100 percent of UV light and be sure to wear them, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to your eyes.
5. Driving Accidents (driver fatigue, defensive driving, etc.)
Driving accidents are the number one killer for young people. Avoid summer car accidents by:
- never drinking and driving
- keeping summer road trips to a reasonable length
- never driving after midnight
Each over 3,000 people drown in pool-related accidents. More than 650 drown in boating accidents. For each child under 14 that drowns, another five suffer from near drowning. Prevent these summer tragedies through supervision, proper pool safety and enforcing rules around the water.
Dehydration can happen quickly in the summer heat. Be sure that you have water handy whenever you will be in the heat for a long time. Don’t forget about children too – they may not ask for water. Be sure to take frequent water breaks during the kids’ summer activities.
8. Bug Bites
Bug bites can be annoying and itchy. They can also be serious if they bring an infectious disease like West Nile or Lyme disease. Prevent bug bites and infection this summer by avoiding buggy situations, using a good bug repellent and wearing long pants and sleeves when in buggy areas.
9. Unsafe Sex
Summer brings thoughts of romance and new love interests. While the spontaneity of a summer romance is exhilarating, the risks of a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, are very real. Before engaging in any summer fling, know how you will protect yourself.
10. Fireworks Injury
Each year, almost 10,000 people are injured by fireworks so severely that they must go to the emergency room. Avoid these serious injuries by leaving fireworks to the professionals. If you insist on doing fireworks in your own backyard, use common sense safety, understand what each firework does and keep children at a safe distance.