Summer is fast approaching, and for many St. Petersburg families, that means it’s time to spend more time outdoors. While sunshine is in no shortage in the St. Petersburg area, the sun’s rays are a bit more intense during the summer. The doctors and nurses at Northside Hospital recommend taking a few necessary precautions this summer to prevent common health issues and to avoid a trip to the emergency room.
If you’ve lived in St. Petersburg or Pinellas Park for a while, you’ve likely received a sunburn or two. If you get too many sunburns, you can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. To protect your skin, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF or at least 15 once every two hours.
Heat stroke occurs when your body becomes overheated. To prevent heat stroke, wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Try to stay in the shade whenever possible, or simply avoid going outdoors between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun is at its most intense. Under no circumstances should you leave your children or pets in a parked car.
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential for preventing heat stroke and dehydration. Your body needs lots of water to create sweat and regulate body temperature. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol on hot days, and carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Doctors recommend that men drink at least 13 cups of water each day and women drink at least nine cups.
The heat of summer allows harmful food borne bacteria to reproduce more quickly, increasing the risk of food poisoning. Be sure to thoroughly cook all food that you prepare for picnics and barbeques, and throw out any food that is left outside for more than two hours.
The doctors, nurses, and other medical staff at Northside Hospital can help you and your family stay happy and healthy all summer long. You can reach our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (888) 598-9586 or you can visit our website for more information about our emergency services for St. Petersburg residents.