Summertime is a time of year when kids truly thrive. They are done with school, and they are ready to be kids. Summer means long days with endless possibilities – making friends, experiencing new activities and creating memories.
While the benefits are many, there are some potential risks to look for when it comes to the summer season.
Winter may be associated most with falling ill, but some illnesses are more common during the warm summer months. We should all be aware of these illnesses and know what to look for so that we don’t miss out on any summer fun.
Watch out for these common summer illnesses:
- Sunstroke, aka heatstroke. To keep it simple, this condition is a product of too much time in the sun. It can lead to developing a rapid pulse, feeling disoriented, and nausea. It is important to keep an eye on the high temperatures for each day. Proper hydration and taking breaks in the shade can prevent heatstroke. It can take just a few hours to be impacted by this condition, so it is important to be aware of how much sun you enjoy at any given moment, especially when paired with physical activity.
- Insects. Insects are awake and back in full force during the summer months. Insects such as mosquitos and ticks carry a variety of different potential diseases. If your child enjoys the great outdoors, especially wooded areas, it is key that you remember to provide the necessary repellent or try to wear long pants if it isn’t terribly hot. Normalize a physical check for your child to go through prior to bath or bedtime. This can help them to learn to search for ticks and other unwanted pests that may hitch a ride into your home.
- Food Poisoning. Nothing screams summer like a family picnic or BBQ. While these activities are essential for summer fun, they can also create risk factors for your health. Bacteria love warm, moist environments, and nothing provides that more than outdoor get-togethers with food. This can be avoided with proper handwashing, as well as following proper cooking and storing techniques when it comes to food.
- Swimmer’s ear. When moisture is left inside the ears in can act as a breeding ground for organisms resulting in infection, inflammation or irritation of the outer ear canal. It’s important to keep your ears as dry possible and use ear plugs when needed, especially if swimming in natural bodies of water. After swimming tilt your head to drain water to help avoid swimmer’s ear. If a child does get it, a doctor may proscribe antibiotic ear drops.
- Enterovirus. Enterovirus is a common group of viruses that can cause mild to severe respiratory sickness. Often referred to as the “summer flu,” it can cause cold-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, runny nose and nausea. It can even cause a rash such as in the condition of hand-foot-and-mouth disease which is caused by coxsackievirus, a type of enterovirus.
While there may be some health concerns to consider in the summer months, most are avoidable. Summer is all about having fun and living each day to its max – nobody wants to be hindered by sickness in the summer!
The information and content on our website should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or advice from your doctor.