What to Watch for to Protect Your Family
Summertime is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather. However, it's important to be aware of the potential hazards of these activities. Here are some of the most common summer emergencies and how to avoid them:
Dehydration is one of the most common summer emergencies. Why is it so common? Because we tend to sweat more in the summer, and we may not drink enough fluids to replace what we've lost.
Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, lightheadedness, headache, and decreased urine output. To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. If you become dehydrated, drink fluids slowly and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen.
Drowning is another typical summer emergency, especially among children. This is a time of year when families are excited to swim in the pool or the lake. It's important to be aware of the dangers of drowning and take precautions to prevent it.
Symptoms of drowning include difficulty breathing, coughing, and unconsciousness. Never swim alone and always supervise children around the water to prevent drowning. If someone appears to be drowning, call for help and provide rescue breaths if trained.
You should also be aware of secondary drowning, which is when water gets into the lungs and causes inflammation. Symptoms of secondary drowning can occur up to 24 hours after a near-drowning incident.
Insect Bites & Stings
Insect bites and stings are also common in the summer. After all, these critters are more active in warmer weather, when many people are outside enjoying the day.
Symptoms of an insect bite or sting include redness, swelling, and itching. Wear long sleeves and pants when outside, use insect repellent, and avoid sweet-smelling perfumes or lotions to prevent insect bites and stings. If you are bitten or stung, remove the stinger if present and wash the area with soap and water. Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and seek medical attention if you have a severe reaction.
Sunburns are another regular summer emergency. While not all sunburns are severe, they can all be painful. And more importantly, they can all increase your risk of skin cancer.
Symptoms of sunburn include red, painful skin that is warm to the touch. Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to prevent sunburns, seek shade when possible, and avoid tanning booths. If you do get a sunburn, apply a cool compress and take ibuprofen to reduce pain. Drink plenty of fluids and seek medical attention if your sunburn is severe enough and blisters form.
Burns are also common in the summer, especially among children. Why? Think about all the seasonal activities, including hot surfaces—campfires, fireworks, grilling, etc.
Symptoms depend on the type of burn but like sunburns can include red, painful skin that is warm to the touch. To prevent burns, never leave children unattended near the fire, and always supervise them around hot objects. If someone is burned, cool the area with a cool compress and seek medical attention if the burn is severe.
Cuts are another typical summer emergency. Whether you're cooking in the kitchen or doing yard work, there are plenty of opportunities to get a cut.
Symptoms of a cut include bleeding, swelling, and pain. To prevent cuts, always use sharp knives with care and be careful when handling power tools. If you get a cut, clean it with soap and water and hold pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Apply a bandage and seek medical attention if the cut is deep or the bleeding does not stop.
Heat exhaustion is a common summer emergency, especially during heatwaves. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
To prevent heat exhaustion, drink plenty of fluids and stay in air-conditioned areas during heat waves. If you think you or someone else is experiencing heat exhaustion, remove any clothing that is wet with sweat and have the person lie down in a cool, shady area. Apply a cold compress to the person's neck, armpits, and groin and fan them. If symptoms don't improve within 30 minutes, call 911 or seek medical attention.
Quality Emergency Room Care in Arlington
These are some of the most common summer emergencies. By taking precautions and being aware of the symptoms, you can help prevent or treat these conditions. If you are ever in doubt, seek medical attention immediately.
PrimeCare Emergency Center offers quality emergency room care in Arlington. Our board-certified physicians are experienced in treating all types of emergencies, big and small. We offer a wide range of services, from X-rays and lab tests to stitches and broken bone treatment.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a medical emergency, don't hesitate to contact us or come in today. We are here to help!