17 Health Hazards You Want to Avoid This Summer

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9. Sunburn

Probably the most common health hazard in the summertime is good ole’ sunburn. While a classic first degree sunburn — red, tender skin — is manageable with the help of aloe vera and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, second degree sunburns hurt much more and require more care. Blisters are an indicator of second degree burns. It’s very important that you don’t pop these blisters because, according to the CDC, popping can slow the healing process and increase your chances of contracting an infection. Avoid all of this from happening by slathering on sunscreen periodically while outside, and by staying in the shade or wearing long-sleeve clothes as much as possible.

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10. Heat Rash

If you find yourself scratching when it’s hot outside, there’s a chance you may have a heat rash. Although most common with young children, a heat rash can occur at any age, especially if you’re overweight but also if you frequently exercise outdoors. Because a heat rash looks like a cluster of small blisters, it is often hard to identify at first. Be on the lookout for bumps that appear on the neck, chest, groin, and in elbow creases. To prevent it, the CDC suggests to stay in cool areas and to avoid tight clothing which can prevent airflow. If a rash does develop, baby powder may be a good idea to reduce discomfort.

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11. Grilling Injuries

So you thought you’d avoid many of the dangers of summer by having a cookout in your backyard, right? Not so fast. In 2014, 16,600 people went to the emergency room from injuries involving the grill. Each year, an average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling, with gas grills contributing to a higher number of home fires than charcoal ones. The lead factor contributing to these fires is a failure to clean the grill before use, so be sure to scrub it down before you close it up. But don’t leave metal brush hair on the grill. The stray metal wires can cause major digestive problems.

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12. Heat Cramps

Muscle cramps are not ideal in any circumstance and, in most cases, cramping happens as a result of losing sodium, usually from sweating during rigorous physical activity. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself, which is a vital bodily function, especially during bouts of extreme heat. However, sweating too much can significantly deplete the body’s supply of sodium — an essential electrolyte that fuels muscle tissue. As a result, the muscles tense and cramp, causing you a whole lot of discomfort. The CDC advises to drink water with a snack or a sports drink every 15-20 minutes to alleviate the cramping.