How are you spending your summer? Summer is such a wonderful time of year to enjoy the great outdoors, soaking up the sun and lounging by the pool or exploring the world with your family or friends. Unfortunately, that beautiful summer sun can also be dangerous if you’re not careful! Here, we offer some advice on how to beat the summer heat and stay healthy all season long.
- Make sure to stay hydrated. Drinking water is important all year, but it’s never more crucial than in summer. Drink clear fluids consistently throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty, because if you feel thirsty, you’re already headed toward dehydration. How much water do you need? Every person is different, and the amount of fluid you need to stay hydrated depends on factors like your age, activity level, and more. Certain foods, like watermelon and cucumber, can supply some of your fluid intake, as can soup and beverages other than water. Be careful not to drink too many caffeinated drinks, however, because caffeine is a diuretic.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen. Wear sunscreen every single day, and reapply it every two hours or so, especially if you’re active or swimming. Use at least SPF 30 to minimize the risk of sunburn, because sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer, as well as being painful. While a sunburn will go away on its own, it may cause blistering or scarring. If you’re concerned, go to an urgent care clinic to have a doctor examine and treat your burn.
- Limit your time in the sun. A full day in the sun can leave you overheated and exhausted. To protect yourself from heatstroke, limit your time in the sun, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its height. If you do feel like you’re becoming overheated, get into a cool space, preferably air-conditioned, and have a cool drink.
- Heat can negatively affect your health all by itself. Hyperthermia is a heat-related illness that, in its mildest form, causes muscle cramps or swelling in the feet and ankles. Heat exhaustion is a more serious stage of hyperthermia that causes a person to feel nauseated and dizzy, as well as thirsty, weak, and uncoordinated. The most serious type of hyperthermia is heat stroke, which can be life-threatening. Symptoms include fainting, having trouble walking, feeling confused or agitated, and feeling very hot but not sweating. Make sure to take breaks in the shade to ward off hyperthermia.
- Check on your vulnerable loved ones. Very young children and adults 65 and older, people with chronic diseases or mental illness, and pregnant women are at the highest risk of heat-related illnesses. Touch base with the people in your life who are vulnerable, asking about water intake and measures to stay cool, in order to determine whether they need assistance. If you think you, your friend, or a loved one may be suffering from heat-related issues, don’t hesitate to head to urgent care.
The goal of Total Point Urgent Care is to be a convenient healthcare resource for our community. Providing immediate medical care at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room, each neighborhood urgent care walk-in clinic in our network offers warm, efficient, personalized care. At our locations in Texas and Arizona, our on-site technology and services include urgent care, primary care, specialty care, routine checkups, flu shots and other vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and onsite lab and x rays. Soon, we’ll even offer virtual visits so that our patients can choose telecare instead of risking a trip to the clinic. For convenient medical care, visit one of our locations or contact us through our website.