Beat the Summer Heat and Stay Healthy

Summer has officially arrived, bringing temperatures in the 90s to parts of South Carolina. While summer offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun, the extreme heat and increased activity levels can also lead to a rise in unintentional injuries and health issues. By being prepared and aware of common summer hazards, you can enjoy the season safely and healthily.

Protect Yourself from Heat Stress

Heat stress is a major concern and is the leading cause of weather-related deaths. It can exacerbate existing health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health conditions, and asthma, and it increases the risk of accidents.

  • Recognize the Signs: If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound or leaves you gasping for breath, stop all activity immediately and move to a cool area or shade. Symptoms like lightheadedness, confusion, or fainting may indicate heatstroke, a medical emergency with a high fatality rate.
  • Stay Hydrated and Cool: Even when simply enjoying a sunny day, it’s crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid strenuous activities during peak heat hours. On very hot days, stay in air-conditioned spaces as much as possible.
  • Special Care for Vulnerable Groups: Young children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to heat-related illnesses, so ensure they are adequately protected from the heat.

Water Safety

Drowning is a leading cause of preventable death for both children and adults. When enjoying activities on the water, always supervise children and be mindful of your swimming capabilities.

  • Supervision is Key: Never leave children unattended around water, even for a moment.
  • Know Your Limits: Be aware of your swimming skills and do not overestimate your abilities.

Prevent Sports Injuries

Summer often sees a surge in sports activities, both on land and water, leading to an increase in related injuries.

  • Warm-Up Properly: Always take the time to warm up before engaging in any sports activity.
  • Wear Protective Gear: Ensure you have the appropriate protective gear, including suitable footwear, to prevent injuries.

Safe Yard Work Practices

Yard work can also pose risks during the hot summer months. Proper preparation and protective measures are essential.

  • Dress Appropriately: Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and sturdy, close-toed shoes to protect yourself from the elements and potential injuries.
  • Use Sunscreen and Repellent: Apply sunscreen to guard against sunburn and insect repellent to protect from tick and mosquito bites.
  • Stay Hydrated: Take regular breaks and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while working outdoors.

Expert Advice

“Summer brings a surge in outdoor activities, and unfortunately, that can also lead to an increase in certain injuries,” said T.J. Daley, lead physician assistant at Prisma Health Orthopedic Convenient Care in Columbia. “We see a lot of water sports injuries this time of year, from hamstring and ankle sprains to knee injuries. These can happen not only during the activities themselves but also while getting on and off boats or using boat ramps.”

Quick Recovery and Convenient Care

Injuries can quickly derail your summer plans, but a speedy recovery can make all the difference. Prisma Health offers convenient, easy-access care to help you get back on your feet quickly. With 15 urgent care locations across the Upstate and Midlands and several more opening soon, Prisma Health provides extended hours from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.

“Summer is for fun, not getting sidelined by minor injuries or illnesses,” said Stephanie Trowbridge, regional medical director for Prisma Health Urgent Care. “Urgent care can be a lifesaver for your vacation or summer plans. We offer convenient care for a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions, so you can get the treatment you need and get back to enjoying your vacation or other summer outings.”

For added convenience, Prisma Health also offers virtual visits that can be used if you’re away on a trip or at home with a minor ailment that doesn’t require an in-person visit. More information about virtual visits is available at Prisma Health Virtual Care.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and enjoy your summer!

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