7 health hazards to watch out for this summer

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Greenville doctors say although COVID-19 is a top concern in hospitals, they’re anticipating visits from patients with several other health problems over the next few months.

As part of our Ask the Expert Series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis Health, 7 News’ Jennifer Martin talked to Bon Secours AFC Urgent Care Medical Director Dr. Jason Crumplerfor the 7 most common summer hazards.

1. Vaccines

Every summer, Dr. Crumpler said he sees an increase of patients with viruses like the stomach bug or the hand foot and mouth disease, but he believes that wearing a mask could prevent those viruses as well as COVID-19.

“One thing people forget is not to touch their face, because that’s how you spread it, touching your mouth or nose or even rubbing your eyes, you can get viruses that way,” he said.

2. Cuts and bruises
Dr. Crumpler said deep cuts and bruises are a common injury for children, often while riding bicycles outside and being more active than usual.

3. Broken bones and fractures
Usually in the summer, Dr. Crumpler said there tends to be a rise in sports-related injuries like broken bones from falling off a bike or playing sports, although he says it remains to be seen if this number will be lower than normal with many sports programs closed due to COVID-19.

“We are anticipating that,” he said, but added “the uptick in the summer months tends to be the school aged kids.”

4. Bug bites
When it comes to bug bites, he says to see a doctor if you think you’ve been bitten by a poisonous spider or if you’ve scratched a mosquito bite and notice symptoms of an infection.

“If the redness starts to spread or you start to get a fever or any kind of drainage from it, you worry about infection,” he said.” He recommends using Neosporin for treatment until noticing signs of an infection.

5. Heat Exposure

Dr. Crumpler said he sees a lot of dehydrated patients come in for being overexposed to heat in summer months and recommends drinking a baseline of 64 fluid ounces a day, but says to increase your water intake while outside in the hot sun.

“If you’re outside for a long time, an hour or 2 hours, make sure you’re drinking at least a couple bottles of water,” he cautioned.

6. Car accidents
As people travel more frequently for vacations in the summer and then get in car accidents, he says they often don’t notice neck and back injuries quickly enough. He said the time to go to an urgent care center or emergency room is if you’re having trouble walking or if the pain is not manageable with over the counter medication like Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Aspirin.”

7. Poison ivy and poison oak
He says to watch out for rashes from poison ivy and poison oak and to see a doctor if you are having an extreme allergic reaction to these plants, which cause a linear rash. He also said to be careful not to burn the plant by mistake and breath in toxins.

“We see people that have burned some firewood or something that had poison ivy or poison oak and can actually get in your lungs or your face, and that’s obviously a reason to come to the emergency department,” he said.

If you have a health topic for our series, click here.

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