Now that summer is almost here, it's a good time to take stock of your family's safety and apply as many preventative measures as possible to ensure that everyone enjoys the season while remaining safe and healthy. Following are five reasons why people seek urgent care during the summer months.
Family reunions, picnics, community potlucks, and backyard barbecues are prime breeding grounds for the types of bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses. Not only is communal alfresco dining more common during the summer months, the bacteria that causes food poisoning grows more quickly when exposed to warm temperatures. People are also less likely to wash their hands at outdoor functions before eating due to lack of facilities and perhaps a more casual atmosphere.
Although mild cases of food poisoning can be taken care of at home, it's best to err on the side of caution with small children, the elderly, and anyone with a compromised immune system by taking them to an urgent care center soon after symptoms develop. Always carry and use antibacterial wipes if you and your family attend potlucks, picnics, and other summer functions
Insect bites are an invariable part of spending time outdoors during summer. Most of the time, they are simply passing, itchy or mildly painful annoyances. However, some people are allergic to bee stings, while others may have an adverse reaction to certain types of spider bites. Emergency medical treatment should be sought for anyone experiencing severe reactions to insect stings or bites. Those who experience anaphylactic reactions to bee stings should always carry an antidote with them in the form of injectable epinephrine.
Burns From Outdoor Cooking
Outdoor cooking often involves open flames, making it more likely that cooks and others nearby may get burned during meal preparation tasks. The relaxed and informal atmosphere of outdoor cookouts cause many people to let down their guard, and alcohol consumption is often involved, both of which increase the risk of mishaps. Safety practices should be strictly followed, children should be kept away from barbecues and other outdoor cooking equipment, and enjoyment of adult beverages by the cook should wait until after the food has been prepared without incident.
Campfires and beach or backyard bonfires also present safety hazards, particularly if they've been made with wood that comes with trees with high resin contents such as most coniferous evergreens. Tree resin is the flammable substance that causes sparks to fly. You can use a small grate over campfires, and you should always maintain a high level of awareness when standing around bonfires while roasting hot dogs and s'mores
Fireworks injuries are another common reason for visits to urgent care facilities during the summer months. Illegal fireworks are nonetheless easily available in many areas, and even the ones that are allowed by law can cause significant damage if not handled according to package instructions or if they are defective. Additionally, the 4th of July also means the consumption of adult beverages for many people, increasing risks of becoming injuries as a result of handling fireworks.
Heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body temperature rises as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. Strenuous physical activity is usually a component in heat stroke, and those who experience symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms of heat stroke include nausea, vomiting, body temperatures of as much as 104 degrees, confusion, throbbing headaches, and an accelerated heart rate. Heat stroke can be avoided by refraining from engaging in rigorous activities when temperatures are high, remaining properly hydrated in hot weather, and by not wearing restrictive or heavy clothing on days when temperatures soar.
Many other situations exist during summer that can result in unexpected trips to urgent care clinics, so be sure to have a proactive plan in place that involves mapping out a route to your local urgent care clinic and placing their contact information in an easy-to-find location.