African American man sweating

Summer is here! Along with the sudden urge to be care free comes a lengthy list of health hazards — some self-inflicted, others simply Mother Nature’s way of reminding us to pay attention.

For a list of common health hazards and how to protect yourself, keep reading…

1. Dehydration

You’ve spent the day poolside in the blistering heat. Suddenly you feel dizzy, lightheaded and your mouth tastes like cotton. You’re dehydrated — meaning you haven’t consumed the necessary fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out.

When you are active outdoors in the hot sun, you are at risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Avoid this by drinking plenty of water, take regular breaks in the shade, and try to schedule your most strenuous outdoor activities for early morning or evening hours.

For persons suffering more serious dehydration or heatstroke, get them indoors, have them put their feet up and cool off with a cool cloth or ice pack – frozen veggie packs will also do the trick.

2. Sunburn

According to the CDC, “the percentage of adults nationwide who got at least one sunburn during the preceding year rose from 31.8% in 1999 to 33.7% in 2004.

This of course, doubles your risk of developing melanoma if you’ve had just five sunburns in your life. Wear sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays, protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and seek shelter from boiling midday rays.

For those already suffering from sunburn, soak the burn in cool water for just a few minutes and take over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen. Itchy? Try a cream containing diphenhydramine (like Benadryl), which helps block the inflammatory reaction. Applying aloe vera will also soften and soothe the burned area.

Most Common Summer Health Hazards (And How To Protect Yourself)  was originally published on

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