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Wellness and Prevention

The dangers of summertime ills are plentiful, so take a safety first attitude toward summer and visit 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
  • Headache
  • Constipation, dizziness or lightheaded

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

Heat exhaustion and the more harmful, heat stroke, are also common during the hot summer, with children and the elderly being more vulnerable.

Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
  • 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
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness.

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.

Sun Protection

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 exposure 15 times longer that it can in an unprotected state.

Snake Bites

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 an emergency.
  • 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