3. Picnic poisoning

Food poisoning places about 300,000 people in the hospital each year. Avoid cramps, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or worse, dehydration due to restless potty breaks, with these steps provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • Wash your hands as well as the surfaces where you’ll be preparing food.
  • Wrap raw meat and store it away from other items.
  • Have a meat thermometer on hand when grilling meat. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees and poultry to 165 degrees.
  • Refrigerate everything. Store perishable food items in a cooler packed with ice.

Mild cases can be treated at home by avoiding solids foods and adopting a clear liquid diet to stay hydrated. Should symptoms persist for more than a few days — 24 hours for children — see a doctor.

4. Stings and bites

Just recently, one of my loved ones was cleaning out their garage when he was bit by a copperhead snake. Fortunately, he made it to the ER in the nick time of time, where he received antivenin. If left unattended, many stings and bites can be life threatening.

In fact, 3 in 100 adults in the United States — or nearly 7 million people — have life-threatening allergies to insect stings, according to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Stay free of stinging insects by avoiding heavy perfumes and scents (like florals), wear light-colored clothing and cover your food and sugary drinks like sodas. While most people only experience pain when stung, if you develop hives, itchiness, trouble breathing or swelling of the tongue or face, consult a doctor immediately. Of course those with a known insect allergy should always carry an EpiPen.

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

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