Things you should watch out for while outside this summer
There’s nothing like basking in the first rays of summer sunshine. The sudden warmth conjures up memories of summer camps, pool parties, and July Fourth barbecues filled with hot dogs and beer. However, harsh realities like mosquitos, bees, sunburns, smog, and heat strokes can seriously shorten the love affair people have with summer. For many, the idea of summer is significantly better than the reality. However, people can fully enjoy the season if they learn what to avoid.
To aid readers in their quest for the perfect summer, Stacker has created a list of things people should pay special attention to during the hottest season of the year. This list was compiled by identifying risks from multiple sources like insects, unpredictable weather, poisonous plants, and air pollution. Click through to find out how to stay safe when bees attack as well as where you should be vacationing to avoid tropical storms.
A great summer hike could mean coming into contact with plants that will make life difficult. Poison ivy, poison sumac, and poison oak all have one thing in common: urushiol. That’s the oil that causes the blistering rash that comes with an unbearable side of itchiness 12 to 72 hours after contact. To counteract the effects, use calamine lotion or corticosteroid cream to relieve the itch.
Hot dogs are big part of summer, especially during July Fourth’s annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. However, those tubes of meat aren’t so innocent, with 17% of food-related choking caused by hot dogs. Choking is the 19th most common cause of death in the United States, and a man died after asphyxiating during a hot dog-eating contest in South Dakota in 2014.
Summer and swimming go hand in hand, but every day roughly 10 people drown by accident. In June, world champion skier Bode Miller tragically lost his 19-month-old daughter after she fell into a pool. To keep kids safe, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends erecting a pool fence that has self-closing and self-latching gates.
Burning hot pavement
While shoes may keep human soles safe during summer, burning hot pavement can do serious damage to dogs and other animals. Look for limping, refusal to walk, and blistering as signs that a pet’s foot has been burned by the pavement. A vet should be contacted for medical advice immediately.
July marks the beginning of tropical storm season as warm oceanic temperatures and atmospheric conditions combine to reach peak conditions for cyclone formation. Storms are most prevalent in areas with high moisture and humidity, meaning southeastern United States and other tropical areas are more prone to storm activity compared to dryer, cooler areas.
Americans are currently three times more likely than an earlier time to suffer infections from disease-carrying insects, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists believe rising global temperatures are to blame for the increase in mosquito-related illnesses like dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus. The Environmental Protection Agency currently endorses products containing DEET, Picaridin, and lemon-eucalyptus oil to help keep mosquitoes away.
Pollen, mold, and fruits are just a few culprits that can lead to summertime allergy outbreaks. Specific symptoms to look for include dark circles under the eyes, mouth-breathing, and lines across the nose. Common symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes are also signs to take seriously. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays can provide immediate relief. However, an appointment with an allergist may be in order if symptoms last for more than two weeks.
Summer monsoons normally occur between April and September, and bring heavy rains with them. Monsoons happen more often in places like India, Myanmar, and other Southeast Asian countries that depend on rain for their agriculture. In North America, a monsoon usually occurs just once a year between July and September, and can lead to deadly floods in places like Mexico and southwestern states.
It’s not just Great White sharks that pose danger to humans. Tiger sharks, bull sharks and oceanic whitetips are also major threats if they come into contact with swimmers. If a shark appears, don’t panic. Try maintaining eye contact because sharks prefer to ambush their prey. As long as the shark is visible, it’s less likely to attack.
It feels like bees are everywhere when the temperatures start to rise. That’s because bees are most active during the warmer months, especially after a rainy winter. If a swarm of bees heads your way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends running away as fast as you can and pulling your shirt over your face to protect from stings. Jumping in water may seem like an effective way to escape a swarm, but it’s not—the bees will just wait until you come up for air.