Wellness and Prevention
The dangers of summertime ills are plentiful, so take a safety first attitude
toward summer and visit ShastaRegional.com and click the “Wellness
and Prevention” link to learn how to keep your family safe against
dehydration, heat stroke, snake bites and the harmful rays of the sun
that can zap your summertime fun!
The Shasta Summer Super Heroes want to shield you and your family from
the dangers lurking during the summer months, but when life’s accidents
happen, our ER doctors and staff at Shasta Regional Medical Center guarantee
that care will begin within 30 minutes of your arrival.
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS
"SAFETY TO GO"
When it is hot outside and you're active, it is easy to become dehydrated.
It is good to know the signs of dehydration, as well as a few simple ways
to avoid dehydration.
Know the Signs of Dehydration:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Lethargic Extreme Thirst
- Decreased urine output or dark in color
- Few or no tears when crying
- Dry skin
- Constipation Dizziness or lightheadedness
Ways to Avoid Dehydration:
- Pick the right water - avoid hydrating beverages that have added sugar.
- Snack on the right foods - fresh veggies and fruits are good snacks this
time of year.
- Drink constantly, not occasionally - you should be constantly drinking
fluids, rather than guzzling multiple liters of water all at once.
- Avoid drinking alcohol & caffeine - these can dehydrate you even more.
If severe dehydration occurs, especially in young children or older adults,
seek immediate medical attention.
HEAT EXHAUSTION/ HEAT STROKE
Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion:
- Heavy sweating
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cool & moist skin
- A fast & weak pulse rate
- Fast & shallow breathing.
- If these signs are not recognized they could lead to heat stroke.
Know the Symptoms of Heat Stroke:
- An extremely high body temperature (103˚F or higher)
- Red, hot, and dry skin
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing headache
It is important to respond immediately to these symptoms by either calling
911 or going to your local emergency facility. Other ways to respond to
heat exhaustion and heat stroke are to move into the shade or an air conditions
space, loosen clothing or remove as much clothing as possible, drink cool
water, drink a sports drink to restore electrolytes, and monitor your
temperature for changes in your condition that suggest heat stroke.
We all know we should wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 everyday (even
when it's cloudy) to prevent skin cancer and early skin aging, but
here are some facts about sunscreen that you might not have known.
• SPF 15 sunscreen absorbs roughly 93% of UVB rays.
• SPF 30 sunscreen absorbs roughly 97% of UVB rays.
• SPF 50 sunscreen absorbs roughly 98% of UVB rays.
• SPF 40 or 50 are max-protection options for fair-skinned people,
winter activities, and adventures spending prolonged time at high elevations.
• Sunscreens SPF 2-14 only help prevent sunburns, while sunscreens
that are labeled "Broad Spectrum" or have an SPF of 15 or higher
will protect against sunburns AND can reduce the risk of skin cancer and
early skin aging.
• SPF numbers DO NOT indicate the duration of sunscreen's protection.
For example, wearing SPF 15 sunscreen does NOT mean your skin can withstand
sun exposer 15 times longer that it can in an unprotected state.
During those adventurous hikes and romps through the back yard, it is always
good to be aware of the snakes that may live there. Most snakes like to
hide in woodpiles, rocks, fields of grass, or fallen trees. To reduce
your risk of snakebite, avoid touching any snake you may see. Instead,
back away slowly. Most snakes avoid people if possible and bite only when
threatened or surprised.
Ways to Avoid Snake Bites:
• Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas,
instead, wear hiking boots.
• When hiking, stick to well-used trails and wear over-the-ankle boots
and loose-fitting long pants. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush
where snakes may hide during the day.
• Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see, and avoid wandering
around in the dark.
• Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful
when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before
sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
• Never grab "sticks" or "branches" while swimming
in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
• Be careful when stepping over the doorstep as well. Snakes like
to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
• Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in
• Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone.
Children are naturally curious and will pick up snakes
Information provided by the California Department of Fish & Game