Summer fun without illness

Common Summer Illnesses and How to Avoid Them

When you think of summer, you think of days by the pool, family vacations and backyard BBQ’s. What you don’t want is swimmer’s ear, summer colds. food poisoning or bug bites. These common summer illnesses can really take the fun out of your summer.

Here are some tips to prevent these common summer illnesses so you can stay healthy and enjoy all the fun summer has to offer.

Swimmer’s ear

Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear canal and typically appears within a few days of swimming. Symptoms often include itchiness inside the ear, redness, swelling, and pain when pressure is placed on the ear, or even pus draining from the ear. To prevent swimmer’s ear, keep them as dry as possible and remove water from the ear canal after swimming. Avoid using cotton swabs or placing objects in the ear canal.

Summer Colds

Many times, people mistake a cold for allergies, especially in the summer. Symptoms of a summer cold are the same as the common cold in the winter, including nasal congestion, runny nose, a dry cough, ear pressure and sometimes a fever. Preventing a cold in the summer also calls for the same remedies as winter. Avoid others that are sick and keep up good handwashing routines. Make sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated and some folks may want to supplement immune-boosting nutrients like iron, vitamin c, and zinc.  

Food poisoning

Cooking and eating outside is much more common in the warmer months. But the hot, humid conditions cause foodborne bacteria to grow faster, causing a spike in food poisoning in the summer months. Symptoms of food poisoning can occur as soon as an hour after eating contaminated food and include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend keeping food cool in the refrigerator prior to cooking and using a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked hot enough to kill germs before serving. Be sure to put leftovers in the freezer or fridge within one hour of cooking if it is over 90 degrees outside.

Bug Bites

Summer insects are not just annoying, they can carry diseases and cause illnesses. Ticks, mosquitos, bees, wasps, hornets, and some spiders are more active and likely to bite or sting in the summer. Use insect repellent, avoid bright clothing and perfume, and stay away from stagnant water and heavily wooded areas to protect against bites and stings. Be sure to seek medical attention if you experience a severe reaction such as hives, swelling, or feeling faint.

If you or a family member do get sick this summer, the medical providers at FetchMD can provide fast, affordable and convenient care, wherever you are. Whether you are at home, the pool or the office, skip the waiting room and get urgent care delivered by downloading the FetchMD app.

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