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I like summer. I don’t love it.
I know that sounds odd, but I don’t like super hot weather and I despise (bordering on hate) humidity. I’d be much happier in a climate that remained at no more than 75 degrees, had low humidity and a nice breeze.
Unfortunately, I don’t live there. Instead I live in New England, Boston to be exact, and deal with all types of weather. I prefer fall and winter to summer. I know, call me crazy.
If humidity and hot weather wasn’t enough to make me dislike summer, you also have to concern yourself with a host of health related concerns that come along with the warm weather.
Here’s Summer’s Most Serious Health Concerns
1. Human Waste In Swimming Pools
You know that burn you feel in your eyes when you get out of the water? Always thought it was too much chlorine didn’t you? Well, me too.
But it’s not. It’s a chemical reaction with pee, poop, and sweat from other swimmers (and you too). This bodily matter reacts with the chlorine to form chloramine compounds, which in effect stings your eyes. Aside from being disgusting, the formation of these compounds means there is less chlorine left in the water to kill bacteria, like e coli.
I’m not a fan of public swimming pools and this gives me even more reason to stay away from them.
2. Food Borne Illnesses
There’s a couple of concerns in the summer that bear mentioning.
When you’re at a BBQ, the meat you’re consuming should be cooked at the proper temperature. This means for beef and pork should cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. For chicken and turkey, 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked thoroughly.
Be aware of food left out for long periods of time that have been prepared with mayonnaise, it can spoil quickly and leave you with a horrible case of food poisoning. It doesn’t have to taste bad for it to do its damage. Keep food chilled at all times to prevent getting sick.
3. Soft Serve Ice Cream
If the ice cream stand fails to properly clean the soft serve dispensing mechanism, it can host a variety of bacteria that will make you very sick. Make sure you’re getting your ice cream from a reputable vendor.
4. Air conditioners
Air conditioners have a tendency to work round the clock in the summer months. As a result dust, mold and pollution from outdoor air (in the case of central AC) or indoor air (in the case of a window unit) tend to build up on the filter.
Change the filters every three months to prevent respiratory problems and infections.
5. Jelly Fish Stings
Live near the ocean? You’ll need to be concerned with jelly fish stings. This slimy little creature sure can sting but rinsing the sting with salt water is all you’ll need to start feeling better fast. Vinegar can work too. Using urine to combat the sting is a common myth and should not be used.
The sun isn’t like it was many years ago. I remember laying out in the sun all day when I was a teenager and never burning. Toady if I’m in the sun an hour unprotected, I’m burning.
Sunburns can be serious particularly when the burn produces blisters. When this occurs, often people are treated like burn victims. The long-term effects often lead to skin cancer.
Don’t go in the sun unprotected. Use a good sunscreen.
Keeping your family safe during the summer months means being aware of these serious health related risks. All of them can be prevented by using good common sense.
Summer is meant to be enjoyed, not sick – lets save that for winter.