Friday, June 21st marked the first day of summer and for many people that means spending a lot of time in the heat, sun and swimming pool.  Dr. Yost and the staff at Peachtree Immediate Care want you to have a great summer, so they've put together a few tips to help you stay healthy and safe. Check them out below!     

 

Stay Safe in the Sun

Stepping outside for a bit? Did you know that many people can be burned in as little as 15 minutes?! Without the proper protection, UV rays from the sun can cause sunburns and increase the risk of skin cancer. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you and your family are prepared before enjoying a day outside in the summer. Before leaving home, take the time to apply a liberal amount of sunscreen (especially between 10am and 4pm). Here are a few ways to stay safe in the sun:

 

·        Wear sunscreen!

o   It is recommended that you use water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 30

o   Apply sunscreen even in cloudy weather- UV rays can still affect your skin!

o   Reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen generally needs to be reapplied every two hours when outside, unless you're in water, in which case it should be reapplied every 40 to 80 minutes.  Read your sunscreen's label for the most accurate information.

o   Check your sunscreen's expiration dates- sunscreen ingredients can deteriorate over time.

o   Put on sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun.

·        Wear protective clothing. Long-sleeve clothing can provide better protection from UV rays.

·        Stay in the shade as often as you can and stay inside when possible. UV rays are the strongest during from the late morning through the mid-afternoon. Always be extra cautious when going outside between 10am and 4pm.  

·        Seek medical attention when a sunburn is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:

o   High Fever

o   Confusion

o   Nausea

o   Chills

o   Headaches

o   Severe Blisters

o   Swelling

o   Dehydration

·        Avoid tanning. Remember that Every time you tan you increase your risk of getting skin cancer.

·        Be aware of changes in your skin- the CDC recommends the following “ABCDE” standard when checking for melanoma:

o   “A” stands for asymmetrical. Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?

o   “B” stands for border. Is the border irregular or jagged?

o   “C” is for color. Is the color uneven?

o   “D” is for diameter. Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea?

o   “E” is for evolving. Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months?

 

Beat the Heat

On average, the temperature between June and August in the Atlanta area tends to be in the high 80's. If you're going to be in a hot setting, it's important to be aware about the risks associated with heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can occur when your body can no longer cool itself. Here are a few ways to beat the heat:

·        Drink water often, typically every 20-40 minutes. Avoid drinks that contain alcohol and limit the consumption of caffeinated beverages to 8 to 12 ounces.

·        Wear a hat or use an umbrella when outside.

·        Wear light clothing

·        Avoid going outside during the warmest parts of the day

·        Seek medical attention when experiencing the following symptoms after resting in a cool place for more than one hour:

o   Dizziness

o   Fatigue

o   Sweating

o   Nausea

o   Headaches

o   Weak pulse

o   Muscle cramps

o   Faintness

 

Swim Safely

A lot of people will be going to the pool this summer, and while it may be tempting for some of us to immediately "cannonball" into the water, it's important to take the time to think about safety.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

·        Learn CPR, especially if you have children.

·        Know the depth of the water before diving

·        Don't drink alcohol while swimming or monitoring children

·        Watch the weather- pay attention to potential incoming storms

·        Be attentive, especially if you have children. The CDC has reported that drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

·        Know the signs of dry drowning. Seek care if someone who was recently in the water shows signs of:

o   Uncontrollable or continuous coughing

o   Wheezing

o   Fast or hard breathing

o   Foam at the nose or mouth

o   Light-headedness or dizziness

o   Sleepiness

o   Confusion

o   Abnormal breathing patterns

o   Trouble breathing

 

·        Know the signs of common infections, such as Swimmer’s ear. Swimmer’s ear symptoms can start out mild, but they may get worse if you don’t seek treatment as soon as possible. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of swimmer’s ear include:

o   Itching in your ear canal

o   Slight redness inside your ear

o   Fast or hard breathing

o   Mild discomfort that gets worse when pulling/pushing on your ear, weak pulse

o   Light-headedness or dizziness

o   Drainage of a clear, odorless fluid