Glorious, warm weather has finally hit most of the country, and if your family is like mine, you’re spending more time outside, soaking up lots of Vitamin D!
Along with sunshine, though, come a few not-s0-fun health challenges. Here are just a few, along with some strategies for dealing with them.
1. If anyone in the family has sensitive skin, buy the smallest possible size of sunscreen. There’s no point in spending $10 or more, only to find out too late that it causes a serious, itchy rash on some unfortunate loved one. (I speak from experience!)
“BeKOOOL’s new Itch Relief Patches can now be found online at and Walgreens.com , and in the anti-itch sections of the following retailers: Walmart, Dollar General, Harris Teeter and H-E-B.”
My son wandered into a mound of ants two weeks ago, and I was very glad to have some samples of these patches! They prevented him from scratching the ant bites and the novelty of being covered with a few of these patches made the experience kind of fun.
3. Living in the desert, I’ve learned there are 2 ingredients for staying cool: water and moving air. Always have extra water in your vehicle for times when you’re stuck on the side of the road or end up somewhere far from air conditioning! Keeping 1 or 2 small battery-powered fans* in your vehicle emergency kit would be another good idea as well as a small spray bottle.
It’s amazing how just a few mists from a water spray bottle helps keep the body cool.
*Be sure to keep plenty of extra, fresh batteries on hand!
4. A small aloe vera plant can be grown just about anywhere, and it’s one of the best ways that I know of for cooling sunburned skin.
5. A very simple product to keep on hand for warm weather problems is cornstarch. It’s great for soothing chafing from sweaty skin and diaper rashes.
6. Keep in mind that certain groups of people have a particularly hard time when the weather gets really hot: babies and toddlers, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic health issues.
If anyone in your family fits in one of these categories, have a plan for keeping them cool, especially if the power goes out and takes the air conditioning with it.
7. Dehydration can become a serious issue during the warmest months of the year. Watch for sales on cases of water, Gatorade, and other drinks that include electrolytes. We just discovered Activate, which includes a dose of real vitamins and supplements.
Here’s a recipe for making your own rehydration drinks.
8. Summer air pollution and pollen can set the stage for a really unpleasant asthma season. Make sure you have the right kind of medication with you at home and in your purse and/or vehicle.
Check to see if a local news station posts pollen reports on their website to help keep track of local conditions. You can also visit airnow.gov.
9. Lyme disease continues to affect thousands of people every year. In 2008, there were more than 28,000 who contracted the disease. (I couldn’t fine more recent stats than ’08.)
You should know that the possibility of Lyme disease is greater in some parts of the country than others. If you live in one of the higher-risk zones, keep a vigilant eye out for any sign of a tick bite. Keep in mind that the most dangerous ticks that can carry Lyme disease are the nymphal ticks (babies), and they are about the size of a poppy seed!
10. Sunstroke. I’m adding this one because it happened to me one summer when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I remember the horrible sunburn, the blistered skin, the fever.
Pay attention to outside temperatures, especially if your kids are playing outdoors during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.* Their little bodies heat up quickly, and if they are distracted by all the summer fun, pool parties, etc., they won’t notice a bad sunburn until it’s too late.
(*Can you believe that we used to call those the, “peak tanning hours”??? How crazy was that??)
Stay safe this summer, Survival Moms!