The Pesky Perils of Summer
Ok so technically summer doesn’t start until June 21, 12:38 P.M. ET but It’s never too early to have a plan in place should trauma occur. From backyard barbeques gone awry, to incessant insect bites, injuries during the summer months, though not completely avoidable, can be managed with a little foresight.
Right now as I’m writing this post I am plagued with an allergy attack that began on Monday. Since I battle allergies on an ongoing basis I was so excited to find out yesterday that the one remedy that worked miracles for me in the past is now over the counter.
Flonase, an allergy relief nasal spray, was prescribed for me a few years back when I had a rough patch of sinusitis. My doctor at the time told me that Flonase would not give me immediate relief but I would notice a difference within a few days, and boy was she was right.
I’m not sure why I stopped taking it (probably because I was feeling so good) but since that time the way I’ve been managing is through temporary fixes like Claritin for example. Maybe it’s just my imagination but it seems that each of my recent allergy attacks have gotten considerably worse which led me to a Google search then subsequently Flonase.
I’ve had chronic asthma and allergies since I was a kid and the recommended emergency room treatment during an asthma attack at that time was a shot of adrenaline (which I hated with a passion). In an asthma attack the bronchial tubes constrict making breathing extremely difficult and wheezing is the result of the narrowed breathing passageways. Adrenaline (or today’s inhalers) would dilate the bronchial tubes to enable air to flow more freely.
As I’ve gotten older I’ve received countless breathing treatments, steroids, and inhalers to manage my asthma. Because I know that my asthma/allergies are going to be with me for the rest of my life I always carry an inhaler with me so that I’m prepared.
So it is with preparedness in mind I wanted to share a few summertime tips that could help you avoid injury:
- Sun Exposure – according to the American Cancer Society skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US. What can you do to minimize your risks?
- Avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or even tanning beds and sun lamps.
- Protect your skin with sunscreen 30 or higher SPF (sun protection factor)
- Protect your face and eye with a wide brimmed hat or cap
- Protect your eyes, the below bullet points from WebMD state to look for one or more of the following:
- Lenses block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays
- Lenses meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements. (This refers to standards set by the American National Standards Institute.)
- UV 400 protection. (These block light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which means that your eyes are shielded from even the tiniest UV rays.)
- Heat exhaustion/Heatstroke – heat exhaustion is when your body gets too hot. Heatstroke on the other hand is when your core body temperature reaches 104 degrees F. Heat exhaustion can escalate to heatstroke if not cared for properly. Heatstroke is a serious condition that requires medical attention. How can you minimize your risks?
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light colored clothing
- Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat/cap, and sunglasses
- Drink plenty of water. If your urine is dark colored it could be a sign that you are dehydrated.
- Reserve strenuous outdoor activities for cooler times during the day (before 10 a.m. to after 6 p.m.)
- Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Check with your doctor to see if any of your medications could put you at a higher risk for heat exhaustion/heatstroke.
- Cookouts – fire safety and burns aren’t the only concerns when grilling. Following are additional safety tips:
- Always grill in a well-ventilated area several feet away from your house, trees or other obstructions.
- Always have an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.
- Keep salt or baking soda handy to smother grease trap fires.
- Keep a small squirt water bottle on hand for small flare-ups.
- Use long tongs to avoid burning yourself.
- Check wire bristled grill brushes for loose bristles. There have been incidences where loose bristles have become ingested and lodged in the body requiring serious medical attention.
- Be mindful of food safety as harmful bacteria seriously multiple in warm environments:
- Keep raw meats and their utensils away from other foods
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure meat is throughly cooked
- Serve hot foods right away
- Keep cold foods like potato salad and pasta cold
- I like the Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill mantra from FoodSafety.gov
Today I leave you with the best tip of the day. I found this on Pinterest from the blog Mom 4 Real. To keep bugs out of your drink on those sultry sunny days, simply put a cupcake liner over your glass and poke a straw through it and voila! Sheer genius!!