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Prevent and Treat Common Summer Ailments, From Bug Bites to Poison Ivy

While winters bring cold and flu, summer can bring a host of other health issues. However, that doesn’t mean you should keep your child inside. Summer fun activities such as swimming, biking, hiking, and camping are great warm-weather activities your child should experience.

Taking a few precautions can help prevent ruining a great summer outing. The experienced medical team at Wasatch Peak Family Practice shares advice on preventing and treating common summer health issues so you can have a memorable summer break. 

Heatstroke

Heatstroke happens when your child is exposed to heat for too long. It can result from leaving your child in a hot car for a prolonged period or a hike or summer outing under the hot sun that lasted longer than expected. Symptoms of heatstroke include headache, dizziness, weakness, and losing consciousness. 

The best way to prevent heatstroke is to be conscious of how long you’re in the sun and to take shade breaks frequently. To treat heatstroke, you need to bring the body’s temperature down with ice packs, cool compresses, cold air, and cold water. 

Sunburn

While most of us know the importance of applying sunscreen before going to the pool or beach, many people don’t reapply, especially after sweating or swimming. Some don’t get around to applying it at all. Without adequate protection in the sun, your skin can burn. It hurts! Also, the red color doesn’t look too good. Additionally, too much sun exposure increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

To prevent sunburn, generously apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours, more frequently if swimming or sweating. You can also avoid sun exposure during the hottest parts of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To treat a bad sunburn, apply aloe vera cream or hydrocortisone cream. Cool water will also help you feel better. Eventually, the sunburn and discomfort will fade. 

Poison ivy

When your skin comes in contact with poison ivy, you will most likely develop a horribly itchy rash. The best way to prevent this rash is to learn what poison ivy looks like and make sure you avoid coming into contact with it. You can also protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved clothing and long pants to reduce your risk of touching it. 

If you do come in contact with poison ivy and develop a rash, you can relieve the itching with a cool compress to your skin, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream, or an oatmeal bath. Do not touch the rash and then another part of your skin! You could spread it. 

Bug bites

It’s hard to avoid bugs when you’re outside, especially in the woods or near water. Mosquitos, ticks, bees, and spiders enjoy the summer as much as you do. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself against bug bites and the pain and itchiness that go along with them.

Wearing protective clothing, using bug spray, and lighting citronella candles can help keep bugs away on a hike, a boat, and even your backyard. To treat itchy bug bites, try calamine lotion, aloe vera cream, or hydrocortisone cream. 

For more information on how to prevent summer ailments, call Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah, to speak to one of our expert providers. For your convenience, you can also use our online scheduler.

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