The arrival of springtime is a big relief for families all over the country — especially in places like New Jersey, where winters can be long and cold. The temperature finally starts to rise, the breezes become warmer, and the natural world begins to wake up and bustle with life. Kids (and adults, for that matter!) can finally get outside and play. All of that pent up energy from the winter finally has an outlet.
But all that outdoor adventuring, exploring and playing also brings a long list of health concerns. From toxic plants to dangerous insects and sunburn, the warmer months present a number of risks. The good news is that with a little preparation and foresight, it’s possible to steer clear of these danger and keep your family healthier, all spring and summer long.
Here are 5 summer health concerns to be aware of as a parent. Make sure you kids know about them too, and you’ll have a better chance of avoiding too many visits to urgent care.
We all know that UV rays are harmful beyond a certain point. But skin conditions related to UV exposure can be very serious, and the importance of good sunscreen cannot be overstated. Many reputable medical sources do suggest that many people receive health benefits from very limited minutes of unprotected exposure to the sun, depending on natural skin color. But for the most part, being protected from the sun is vital.
Most medical professionals suggest an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 to protect from sunburn. According to the Mayo Clinic, any SPF over 50 will only provide small increases in protection. A “broad spectrum” sunscreen is recommended, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
2. Water safety
A lot of urgent care center visits have to do with slips and other mishaps around swimming pools. Safety is important around the water as well as in the water.
3. Poisonous plants
Contact with a plant like Poison Ivy or Poison Oak is not pleasant, although urgent care treatments (or even over-the-counter treatments, in very mild cases) can help dry up the rash. Swelling however can be an issue, and serious cases should seek professional medical care immediately.
Depending on where you live, spring and summer can bring mosquitos and/or various biting flies and other insects. Spider and snakebites are also possibilities to be aware of, depending on your local ecosystem.
5. Sports injuries
Kids and adults alike are more active during summer months, and that’s healthy! But careful attention to safety in athletics and recreational sports will help avoid unnecessary visits to urgent care and other medical facilities.
Better awareness means better health!
If you keep these (and other) summer health challenges in mind as the weather starts to warm up, you might even make through the whole season without a single visit to urgent care. Chances are, of course, that you or your child will have one minor issue or another as the weeks go by. For any situation that is not life-threatening, urgent care can provide a very high level of medical treatment with very little wait time and no appointment. Enjoy the spring and summer!