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Staying Healthy During Summer

Your healthcare team at Summa Health System wants you and your family to stay healthy while making the most of your summer. 

Here are a few tips on how to prevent heat-related illness as well as ways to enjoy your outdoor activities without sickness or injury.

Methods to prevent heat-related illness

  • Stay hydrated. Carry a bottle of water when in the sun to help replace lost fluids. Drink more water when you’ve come back inside.
  • Know your limits. If you’re doing physical activities, take frequent rest breaks. Stop the moment you begin to feel too warm or thirsty, or if you start experiencing cramps.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear comfortable light clothing, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays.
  • Pour on the sunscreen. Use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 on the uncovered portions of your body. Reapply every two hours.
  • Rest. Heat-related illness can cause dizziness, headaches or nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop what you’re doing immediately, go inside and lie down with your legs elevated. You may also experience rapid heartbeat, confusion, or even pass out. These are more serious symptoms, so you should have someone promptly call to 9-1-1 for emergency treatment.

Enjoying the great outdoors with health in mind

  • Make sure you don’t bring home unwanted visitors. After enjoying a trip through the woods, check your body for ticks and other bugs. Tick-borne diseases can cause serious illness --  some are potentially life threatening.
  • Bug spray. Bug spray serves its purpose, especially in repelling mosquitoes. Use a spray with 20% DEET. However, make sure you wash the spray off your body once you’ve gone back inside. If you’re concerned about chemicals, oil of lemon eucalyptus is an alternative.
  • “Leaves of three, let it be”. A poison ivy rash can result from directly touching the plant; by touching contaminated objects such as shoes, clothes or individuals who themselves have come into contact with the plant; or by inhaling burning plants, such as during a campfire. If you think you’ve come into contact with poison ivy, wash your skin as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms from conditions that are out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with a Summa family medicine physician either online or call (888) 905-6071.