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Summer Health Tips
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Make sure it’s safe and healthy, too, with these seasonal wellness tips. Enjoy the warmer weather and longer days—and remember that the doctors and staff at your local Lancaster General Health Physicians practice provide the care and service you need to stay safe and well all summer long.
Love the skin you’re in
Each year, doctors in the United States diagnose more than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people—making skin cancer the most common cancer in America. To safeguard your skin, doctors recommend using a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. Remember to reapply often. In peak sun, seek shade and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Keep your cool
Working or playing in extreme heat can cause a host of problems. The most serious is heat stroke, which happens when the body can no longer cool itself. Symptoms include high body temperature, headache, hot dry skin or profuse sweating and confusion or dizziness. Move the person into the shade, cool him or her with water and a fan and call a doctor immediately. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.
Make a splash—safely
Every year, more than 3,500 people drown; about 20 percent are children 14 and younger. Children should know how to swim and wear life jackets rather than water wings or inner tubes. An adult—ideally someone certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)—should always supervise children in the water.
Once bitten, twice shy
Most insect stings and bites are just a nuisance, but some can cause serious medical problems. Some ticks, for example, carry Lyme disease. If you’ve been outdoors between April and September, and you see a red rash that expands like a bull’s eye, or have fatigue, chills, fever, headache, aches and swollen lymph nodes, see your doctor to avoid complications.
The safe way to sizzle
Outdoor cooking is a favorite summer ritual. If you partially cook meat to reduce grilling time, grill it immediately afterward. Use a food thermometer to make sure meats are cooked to the proper temperature. Don’t put food on a platter that held raw meat without washing the platter with soap and hot water first.
What to know on the go
Before you head out on vacation, check with your insurance company for network providers in the area you’re visiting. If you have a health condition, find out what kind of care will be available. If you’re traveling overseas, see your doctor four to six weeks in advance to get any vaccinations recommended for your destination.
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