Summer is a time of fun, but it also can be a season of illnesses.  

Staying healthy and avoiding illnesses is one of the keys to having a good summer.  The medical community of doctors, nurses and CNAs are always trying to educate the public on safety during the summer.  There are many safety precautions to take during this season.  

Here are some safety precautions that will help you avoid the major illnesses of summer. 

  • Lyme Disease 

Lyme disease is a notorious disease caused by ticks.  Most cases occur after people go for a walk or hike outdoors; therefore, people’s risk of contracting this illness is primarily in the summer, although tick bites can occur any time of the year.

There are three measures that everyone who goes outside should take, in order to reduce their risk of being bitten by a tick.

Use Bug Spray

The most effective bug sprays contain DEET, but this chemical can have some negative side effects.  It should only be sprayed on clothing, and is not intended for use on young children.  Prior to using DEET bug repellents on children over two, parents should consult their pediatrician.  Picardin and lemon eucalyptus oil are two natural alternatives to DEET.

Wear Long Sleeves

Even though it is hot, anyone who will be hiking in tick habitats, which include forests and fields, should wear long sleeve shirts and long pants.  Socks and shoes also should be worn.  By wearing long sleeves and lessening one’s exposed skin, the area ticks can bite is greatly reduced.

Check for Ticks

Anytime you come in from the outdoors, you should check for ticks.  If they are noticed immediately, then ticks can be removed before they transmit Lyme disease.

  • West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is another debilitating disease that is transmitted by insects during pleasant weather.  Specifically, people contract this virus from mosquito bites.  The steps people should take against West Nile Virus are similar to those that they take against Lyme disease, but there are some slight differences.

Use Bug Spray

This is especially important in the evening, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear Long Sleeves

Again, this is most important in the evening, which also is a cooler part of the day.

Kill Mosquitoes

Some people, for an unknown reason, enjoy bursting mosquitoes by tensing their muscles.  The mosquitoes cannot release their bite and eventually swell and burst.  This crude activity allows mosquitoes to transmit the West Nile Virus.  Just kill the buggers.

Remove Stagnant Water

Any standing water should be removed, because that is where mosquitoes breed.  This will help reduce the local mosquito population.

  • Food Poisoning

Summer is a season of picnics, where salads sit out in the sun for hours.  Food is rarely kept at its proper temperature (which for dairy is below 41 degrees Fahrenheit) at picnics.  If you know a potato, egg or tuna salad was just taken directly from a refrigerator and put out, then dig in!  However, if there is any doubt, avoid these salads at all costs.  No matter how good your aunt’s potato salad is, it’s not worth contracting food poisoning.

Every summer, medical professionals, such as CNAs, nurses and doctors see patients who contract these diseases.  

They are very serious, but the risk of contracting these illnesses can be greatly reduced by following these steps.

illnessesWayne Page writes for the CNA Training Center of Oklahoma. More information about summer disease prevention can be found here.


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