Summer is the perfect season for fun family outings in the outdoors whether it be a camping trip to enjoy nature, local festival to celebrate community, or a 5k to support a cause! Whatever adventure you may be taking this summer, it’s important to prepare and protect yourself when it comes to potential natural dangers.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes have recently tested positive for the West Nile virus in St. Louis County, meaning it is very important to take necessary precautions while outdoors. Though serious cases of West Nile are rare, minimizing exposure will help reduce the risk even further. The public health department suggests:
- Getting rid of any standing water around your home by filling any holes in the ground.
- Frequently changing water in bird baths or planting pots.
- Checking to make sure drain pipes are properly sloped.
In order to avoid getting bit, it’s important to mend broken screens around the house, and when outdoors wear long sleeves, long pants, and bug repellent, especially when you know you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.
How to Spot Dehydration
Dehydration is common in the summer since many people spend more time outdoors in the summer heat. When going out for the day make sure to pack water bottles in a bag, and send a bottle with your child when they go to day camp, sports practice, or any other outdoor activity. Frequently remind those around you to drink water, especially if temperatures are above 80 degrees. Dehydration can be common among infants especially, so it’s important to pay attention to warning signs and make sure they are given water as soon as they show symptoms. If you notice a child has no tears when they cry, no wet diaper for more than three hours, and a dry mouth or tongue give them water as soon as possible, and if symptoms are severe seek medical attention immediately.
Dehydration vs. Heat Stroke
In extreme cases of dehydration some may experience heat stroke. Again, it’s very important to bring bottled water everywhere you go this summer and remember to drink frequently. It’s also a good idea not to spend extended periods of time outdoors when it is extremely hot out. Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and can cause death and severe injury to the brain and internal organs. It can be recognized by several symptoms including:
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid heartbeat
Older adults are more prone to heat stroke and it is very important to watch for warning signs in order to drink or provide water immediately and seek medical attention if needed.
While summer is a great time for fun, relaxation, and adventure, it’s important to plan ahead and stay safe! If you or someone around you is experiencing any questionable symptoms this summer due to bug bites, heat, or overexertion stop by your local Our Urgent Care for medical care! We’re everything but the hospital, and ready to get you back to health to enjoy your summer!