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Top Summer Health Risks

kid on beach While those of us with kids all breath a sigh of relief when we get past the winter and cold and flu season, it is important to know that summer comes with its own set of health risks.

Here is what you need to know to stay healthy this summer.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus causes flu-like symptoms, including fever, joint pain and headaches. It is contracted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and if you get it, you’ll come down with symptoms within two to fifteen days. Not everyone who is exposed will get sick. If you do get it, you have to just ease the symptoms and wait for it to pass.

Some people who get the virus can get really sick, so if you find that your joints are extremely painful or if you can’t keep anything down in your stomach, seek a doctor immediately.

To prevent West Mile Virus in your family, make it less welcoming for mosquitos. They lay eggs in standing water, even the amount that collects in a dip in your driveway, so do your best to drain any standing water that you find. You can also protect your family with insect repellent that contains DEET, but be sure to read the precautions.

Heat Exhaustion

Just like a car, your body can overheat with some serious consequences. Heat exhaustion can occur when your normal body systems for keeping cool, such as sweating just aren’t enough to do the job. This can occur most often when high humidity prevents sweat evaporation.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include feeling dizzy and weak. When that occurs, it is important to get out of the sun and the heat immediately, grab a cold compress and drink plenty of fluids, such as a sports drink (or water and a salty snack).

Heat exhaustion can progress quickly to the more serious heatstroke, and the signs are throwing up and/or passing out. Call 911 immediately.

To prevent heat exhaustion, drink plenty of water throughout the day, don’t exercise outdoors during the hottest parts of the day or during heat waves, and wear loose clothing.

Check back again for more of the top summer health risks and how to deal with them.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com