Summer Dangers

Newsletter - Jul15 - Summer Dangers

There are numerous festivals, markets, water resorts, and other outdoor programs available for those willing to leave the comfort of an air conditioned room as a way of surviving the summer heat. Keep in mind the heat is not so bad once you get used to it and all the all those cool activities are much less fun in the autumn or winter.

Of course going out and being active in the strong sunshine has its own risks. Some of the most talked about dangers of summer include heat stroke, dehydration, or even skin cancer. We would like to draw your attention to other factors that might quite literally cause you to have a headache if you are not cautious.

Burns

Where there is heat there is the potential of a burn. After playing in the sunshine during the summer who doesn’t love an evening barbeque. To ensure that a meal of grilled foods is not overshadowed by having to make a trip to FirstMed or the hospital, take the following precautions:

  • Make sure children and pets are always closely supervised around fire.
  • Be aware that gas grills can easily explode by gas leaks, blocked tubes or overfilled LPG tanks.
  • Teach children to cover their faces and ‘stop, drop & roll’ if their clothes catch fire.

Saint Stephen’s Day on August 20 is just around the corner with many people using fireworks, which are another dangerous source of accidental burns. Avoid places with high risk of amateur firework display.

Treatment:

Minor burns can be treated at home by running cold water over them and covering them with dry cloth. If a burn doesn’t heal in a couple of days, consult your doctor. Larger burns require emergency treatment.

Foodborne illnesses

Along with barbeques, picnics, and summer weddings come the uninvited guests; bacteria, E.coli, salmonella, cyclospora, and the likes. They are as serious as they sound, causing the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, sweating, dizziness, excessive salivation and mental confusion. Typically food poisoning comes from undercooked, or improperly handled meats, unpasteurized milk products, or contaminated food.

Prevention:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before cooking/eating; you never know what contaminants you are passing from one food to another.
  • Make sure your cooking utensils and food are clean before using them.
  • Keep raw food separate from cooked.
  • Never defrost and refreeze foods.
  • Keep food either cold or hot.
  • Remember that good food can go bad when left out in the sun and heat too long.

Treatment:

  • Keep hydrated! Liquids and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and calcium that maintain the balance of fluids in your body need to be replaced. Once vomiting stops, start gradually returning to a regular diet avoiding milk and fruit juices.
  • If vomiting does not stop in a few hours, seek medical assistance.

Skin reactions

Tattoos

A lot of people like to stand out by decorating their skin with tattoos, which may cause problems ranging from a simple skin irritation to serious blood-borne diseases, including tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. More cautious skin decorators go for henna tattoos that provide a healthier, less permanent alternative. While the natural henna is indeed skin friendly, artists also use a black tar coloring agent to make the tattoo darker and last a bit longer. This agent is an allergen which may cause irritation, infection or even scarring. Make sure your henna artist uses only the natural stuff so you skin doesn’t suffer for beauty.

Hair removal

Loose clothing and bare skin brings about another fashion and hygiene element: smooth skin. When showing all that bare surface some are even more vigilant against unwanted hair growth. One popular weapon of getting rid of hairs is epilation: applying chemical hair removal products which can be allergens as well. So before applying, especially to sensitive areas like armpit or bikini line, try it on a less visible, less sensitive area to see if it causes redness, itchiness or boils. Word to the wise, keep away from sunburned, broken, or irritated skin.

Summer is great for getting together with family and friends to spend some quality outside time with. Don’t let it get ruined with a trip to the doctor’s office, or worse to the hospital, due to carelessness or improper food handling. Of course if you do need our assistance we have a doctor or pediatrician on call 24 hours a day, just call us at +36-1-224-9090. Lastly if you are spending lots of time out in the sun (we know you’re already wearing sunscreen) and you see a blemish, or other unusual mark that is growing or just won’t go away, take advantage of our summer skin special to make sure it isn’t something you need to be more concerned about.

Happy summer!

Sources: webmd.com, mayoclinic.org

This article appeared in our July, 2015 Newsletter. For further information about the online publication and to sign up, please click here.