We all love when the calendar turns to summer so we can get outside and have fun. Who doesn’t enjoy the sun and the beach. We just need to be prepared for our summer time fun.

First off when the temperature hits the 80-90’s and the humidity rises we need to prepare before going out. Everyone thinks about being well hydrated when exercising or doing yard work. Pre-hydrating when going to do something physically active is important, not only water but sports drinks as well. By the time you start to feel thirsty you are already behind. Symptoms of fatigue, cramping and dizziness are early signs. Headaches, confusion and nausea/vomiting are late signs. Stopping the activity, cooling off and rehydrating are the mainstay of treatment. Symptoms of fatigue and malaise can last for a couple days post heat exhaustion. Heat stroke includes rapid pulse, excessive sweating and passing out. Heat stroke requires intervention with IV fluids to help turn the tide in a hospital setting.

It is graduation and picnic season we need to be vigil for the very young and old. Children and seniors do not tolerate the heat as well because their reserves are less. So it is not out of the ordinary for these groups to suffer heat symptoms at a backyard party. Seniors should be in the shade and drinks readily available for them. Young children have to monitored when playing a lot because of course they do not want to stop to eat or drink something, unless it is ice cream. Keeping an eye on these groups can prevent problems.

Our second big problem in the summer is the sun exposure to our skin. We all want that radiant golden tan but not all of us can attain this. We can get a sever sun burn though. It is important to apply sun screen prior to going out in the sun. We should also re-apply every time that we go into the water. Sunscreen is resistant, there is no such thing as water proof. Reapplication is also recommended after a few hours as it starts to wear off, sweat off or rub off.

Sunburns are not only a problem now but put us at risk for skin damage leading to skin cancer down the road. We pay in our 50-60’s for our beautiful tans in our 20-30’s.

Have a wonderful Summer!! Stay safe stay hydrated and use sunscreen!

Dr Steve