The outdoors is synonymous with summertime, and this year more than ever, people are feeling cooped up and ready for some well-deserved fresh air. During the warmer months, trips to the ER are more prevalent. And although we love caring for our patients, we’d much rather you stay safe and healthy! This month, we’re discussing some common summertime health risks and ways to prevent and protect yourself from them.
Five Common Outdoor Health Risks
1. Outside work
Many people take pride in keeping their yard manicured, and it can be therapeutic to plant new shrubs in your garden or fire up the lawnmower after a long winter. That’s why yard work is a common cause of accidental outdoor injuries in the warmer months.
Safety tip: While landscaping or working in the yard, it’s best to wear clothing that covers your skin, as well as closed-toed shoes, glasses, and gloves to protect yourself from foreign objects, burns, and cuts. If you’re mowing your lawn, make sure the grass is dry first.
2. Physical Activity
Summertime just wouldn’t be the same without the outdoor physical activities. From back yard flag football, water polo and sand volleyball, to rollerblading and pick-up games, outdoor sports always seem more fun when school is out. But along with being physically active, comes the risk of injuries.
Safety tip: Always wear proper shoes to give your body the support it needs when playing outside. Be cautious of cars on the road and never go skateboarding or bicycling without a helmet. Stay prepared with an ice pack and bandage wrap in your gym bag to help with swelling and pain in case of an injury.
In a survey of 3,003 Americans, 75 percent were found to be chronically dehydrated, despite drinking around eight servings of hydrating fluids a day. This offset can be caused by sweating, being out in the sun too long, eating high-sodium foods, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol. Dehydration is one of the top reasons for ER trips during the summertime.
Safety tip: Drink a large glass of room-temperature water first thing every morning to replenish your body of the fluids lost during the night. Plan ahead, bring a large re-usable water bottle outside with you, and pack foods to snack on with high water concentrations like watermelon, apples, and oranges.
4. Allergic reactions
There are multiple things that could cause an allergic reaction, like food, insect stings, animals, and outdoor allergens. Serious allergic or anaphylactic reactions cause symptoms including itching, hives, nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, and swelling in the tongue or throat.
Safety tips: A few ways to protect yourself from allergic reactions is to wear bug spray outdoors, watch out for poisonous plants, keep an antihistamine handy, and check the weather for the pollen and mold count before heading outdoors. If you know you are severely allergic to something, you should have your EpiPen on you at all times.
5. Food poisoning
According to the CDC, approximately 76 million people get food poisoning every year. With picnics, barbeques, and food-related outdoor activities being more popular during summer, your risk of food poisoning grows.
Safety tip: When eating, it’s smart to air on the side of caution. Never eat food that has been sitting out in the sun for extended periods, or if it appears raw or the coloring looks off. If you’re going to be packing food to enjoy outside, be sure to travel with it in a cooler with ice packs.
No matter what your injury, ailment, or medical emergency may be, we’re here for you—not only during the summer, but 24/7, 365 days a year. Our state-of-the-art facility offers little to no wait time, to give our patients the fast and efficient premier care they need to be treated and get on with their day. Come see us at 9310 Coors Blvd NW.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Albuquerque ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Albuquerque ER & Hospital, or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.