TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY AND SAFE THIS SUMMER SEASON
Summer is a fun time of year, but it also sets off many seasonal health issues. Working in acute care, physicians often encounter many concerns and questions from patients. Here are some useful real-world tips to keep you and your family healthy this summer.
Summer in the hot South and its constant threat of dehydration can increase your risk of developing kidney stones or recurrence of kidney stones. Your “goal” should be that except for emptying your bladder in the morning, all other urines during the day should be crystal clear. To achieve this goal, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day.
Fishing is a wonderful summer activity, but be sure to closely supervise young anglers or ones who are still learning, especially when they cast their lines, to avoid fish hooks embedded in the skin. For beginners, I recommend using barbless hooks or bending the hook barb inward with pliers. Also, use caution when fishing line is hung up on a log. Yanking hard in an attempt to free the hook may often cause it to pop back into the chest, shoulder, neck, or face.
The myth of “well, my bone isn’t broken because I can still move it” is just that – a myth. Many joints, especially in the fingers, have assisting and accessory muscles that allow some motion even with bone fractures. When in doubt, if you are injured, visit an urgent care or emergency department for an X-ray.
Since burns happen often in the summer, be sure to supervise children around the campfire or fire pit. Use caution when lighting the gas grill, and ignite it only with an open lid. If toddlers are in the house, keep pan handles turned in towards the stove, not extended over the counter, so they are not easily reached by small hands.
Cuts are also common during the summer months. A good rule is if the laceration does not totally stop bleeding or oozing after 15 minutes of firm, direct pressure, then you should seek medical care. Do not make the cardinal mistake of waiting overnight as many wounds are best sewn or sealed within the first six to eight hours to lessen the risk of infection.
The summer season is a wonderful time of year. These are just a few tips to help you and your loved ones enjoy the warm weather and outdoor fun. Should you experience a serious, life-threatening emergency, dial 911 for immediate medical assistance.