Guest Post by Leslie Vandever.
As great as summer can be, it also presents some unique dangers: sunburn, heat sickness,
and insect bites top the list.
Read on to learn about how to deal with them naturally.
5 Natural Summer Health Tips
#1. Buzz Off, Bugs!
Summer wouldn’t be summer without bugs: mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and ants. You can be sure that wherever you are, they’ll likely be there too.
Here are some ideas that can help keep them away:
*Ants: figure out where they’re entering. Make a line in front of it with citrus oil, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, or cinnamon—they won’t cross.
*Mosquitoes: get rid of any standing water around the house and yard—mosquitoes’ favorite breeding grounds and nurseries. Wear clothing that covers all exposed skin. Get some pheromone-based mosquito traps, too.Try burning citronella candles, or make your own mosquito repellent: mix one part garlic juice with five parts water in a spray bottle. Shake before using.
*Wasps: Remove food sources like pet food, picnic scraps, and open garbage cans in spring and early summer. Later In the summer, wasps want sweets. They’re attracted to fruit, fruit juices, and other sugary beverages. Bright colored clothing can attract them. So can perfumes or other strong scents.
*If you get stung: wasp and bee stings are rarely dangerous unless you’re allergic to them. Know the signs of an allergic reaction: nausea, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, facial swelling, or lowered blood pressure and circulation (shock). If you have any of these symptoms, get medical assistance immediately.
#2. Sun Sans Sizzle
Old Sol’s ultraviolet rays can damage your skin and even cause skin cancer.
To avoid sunburn:
*Stay indoors or in the shade between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun is at its most intense.
*Wear protective clothing: a hat, polarized sunglasses, and clothing made of light, breathable fabrics that cover your arms and legs.
*Look for sun-blocking lotions with natural ingredients like zinc, titanium oxide, plant oils, and antioxidant vitamins E and C or make your own.
#3. Rising Temps, Rising Danger
Warm—even hot—weather can be wonderful, but high temperatures can cause heat illness. Be prepared. Watch for the signs of heat exhaustion: a fast, weak pulse, heavy sweating, pale, clammy skin, and weakness.
*To treat: move to a cooler place; lie down and loosen clothing, and apply cool, wet clothes to as much of your body as you can. Sip water. If you’ve vomited—and it doesn’t stop, get medical help immediately.
*Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Look for a high body temperature (above 103 degrees F); hot, red skin; strong, rapid pulse; possible unconsciousness.
*To treat: call 9-1-1 for emergency help. Move the victim to a cooler spot. Try to reduce victim’s temperature with cool clothes or even a cool bath. Don’t give fluids.
#4. Drink Your Fill
When you’re having fun in the sun, it’s easy to forget to do one of the most vital you need to stay well and prevent heat illness: drink fluids and stay hydrated.
*Know the signs of dehydration: dark or amber-colored urine, dry or sticky mouth, thirst, headache, lightheadedness or dizziness, muscle cramps, weakness, and tiredness.
*Severe dehydration—low blood pressure, sunken eyes, fever, lack of sweating, thirst, and little or no urination—needs immediate medical assistance.
*To avoid dehydration, aim to drink 6-8 measuring cups of water each day and eat a healthy diet. If you’re working or playing in the sun, drink a cup of water at least once each hour. Healthy sports drinks are okay, but check with your doctor.
#5. First-Aid: Be Prepared
When you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, it can’t hurt to keep a first-aid kit on hand.
Things to keep in it include:
*elastic bandage with clip
*gauze bandage and tape
*witch hazel for itching
*your favorite natural remedies and essential oils
Everyone loves summer. Get out there and enjoy it!
Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She lives in the foothills of Northern California where she enjoys writing for Healthline.
- Natural Ways to Prevent Sunburn. (n.d.) Healthy.net. Retrieved on June 3, 2014
- Natural Insect Pest Control. (n.d.) Eartheasy: Solutions for Sustainable Living. Retrieved on June 3, 2014
- Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness. (2011, June 20) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on June 3, 2014
- Summer Hydration Tips. (2010) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved on June 3, 2014
- Insect Bites and Stings: First Aid. (2012, May 1) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved on June 3, 2014