Three ways you can stay safe and healthy this summer

This week’s guest blogger is Dr. Naveed Mohammad, Vice President Medical Affairs

We’re headed into the middle of summer and we thought it was the perfect time for a reminder about how easy it is to stay safe and healthy this summer.

Stay sun smart and beat the heat

Doctors have been talking about sun safety for years and with melanoma on the rise, protecting ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun is more important now than ever before. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, this year 7,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer. It is one of the fastest-rising of all cancers and also one of the easiest to prevent. There are a number of ways to help avoid becoming a statistic such as, covering up, staying in the shade and applying sunscreen (with an SPF of 15 or higher). Our Live Well with Osler series has six helpful tips on how you can practice safe sun.

High temperatures can also be dangerous. We haven’t seen many heat alerts in our region this summer but if the heat is too much to handle, there are a number of things you can do to avoid being overwhelmed:

  • Stay inside during the hottest part of the day
  • Keep hydrated by drinking water
  • Visit a cooling centre in your community
  • Check on elderly friends and neighbours to make sure they’re safe

Don’t be “ticked” off

In true Canadian fashion, warm summer weather has inspired many of us to enjoy the great outdoors by visiting local parks, exploring hiking trails and heading out on a camping adventure. You may have seen news reports (one example here) about the rise in the number of ticks in Southern Ontario. Ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by tick bites. While the risk remains low, it’s important to safeguard against tick bites by covering up exposed skin and checking yourself for these travellers after spending a day outdoors.

Check out our recent post on Facebook to learn more about how you can avoid tick bites this summer.

Know where to get care if you need it

No matter how careful we are, there are times when we need medical care. Clinics in the community often have holiday hours in the summer and knowing your options when your primary health care provider is unavailable is a great way to get prepared for any situation.

The Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Peel Memorial is an excellent option for non-life threatening illnesses or injuries that just can’t wait, like:

  • Sprains, strains or broken bones
  • Mild allergic reactions, skin rashes
  • Asthma attacks
  • Minor burns
  • Cuts that might need stitches
  • Earaches, eye injuries
  • Fevers, coughs and colds
  • Infections
  • Nose and throat complaints

The UCC is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day and you don’t need a referral or appointment. If you experience severe chest pain, stroke symptoms, or you are uncertain, always call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest Emergency Department.

Summer is only half over and we hope you take these tips to heart as you enjoy the next few weeks.

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