Dog Days: Common Summer Illnesses to Be Aware Of

emergency care

Just because kids are starting to head back to school doesn't mean that summer is over! There is still plenty of warm weather to be had, but these hot and sticky days come with one major risk factor, illness.

Here are some common summertime illnesses to be aware of during hot weather.

Swimmer's ear

This is especially prominent in those who love to be in the water. Despite popular belief, swimmer's ear isn't quite the same as the ear infections you're used to. Swimmer's ear is an infection of the outer ear canal that runs from the eardrum to the outside of the head, while most ear infections affect the inner ear. Typically, it is often caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming.

In order to prevent this infection from growing, make sure to wear ear plugs while in the water and to dry your ears completely after getting out. A drop or two of hydrogen peroxide also works great on dry ears to combat any remaining bacteria.

Food contamination

There are many abdominal pain causes, but an extremely common one during the warm weather months is food being left in the sun for too long. Like that sketchy potato salad at the picnic, do everything you can to avoid common abdominal illnesses. The heat will cause the food to spoil, and can cause nausea, vomiting, or in severe cases food poisoning. Keep this in mind for those Labor Day parties, and keep your food in a cool space inside.

Poison Ivy

For kids everywhere, the warm weather calls for exploring outside. But this can bring you in contact with poisonous plants that can cause red rashes all over your body, itchy eyes, and uncomfortable wounds. Generally, these infections do not require emergency care if they are mild, but it is a good idea to head to an urgent care center to get them check out if you are worried about a particularly stubborn rash.

So before you head outside, read up on the different dangerous plants in your environment so you can stay away!

If by chance you come down with one of these ailments, it is important to decide if you need emergency care from the ER, or if it is mild enough for a visit to a local walk in clinic.

Emergency rooms are meant for imminent emergencies, such as a stroke, heart attack, or seizures, whereas walk in clinics specialize in non-emergency care with flexible hours. Nearly all urgent care centers operate seven days a week and are open at least four hours per day, so they offer a great backup if you cannot get in to see your primary care physician.

Considering the fact that there are more than 110 million annual visits to the emergency room, and that a full 70% of emergency department visits from patients could be prevented with simple outpatient care, a walk in clinic is the way to go to save time, money, and to get the quality healthcare you need!