Commentary by Steve Baunach
Health emergencies can happen at any time of the year, but summertime creates some unique circumstances that, unfortunately, can result in visits to the emergency room.
In the event that a health emergency does arise this summer, area hospitals are ready to help, no matter the hour.
Most facilities, like St.Vincent Carmel Hospital, provide expedient and friendly injury care – up to and including those ailments emanating from participation in sports. And summer is about a lot of activities, sports among them.
So this season, keep your health by:
• Keeping an eye on your surroundings. Even something as seemingly innocent as running through a field can cause ankle and/or knee sprains if the runner unwittingly steps into a depression in the ground.
• Drinking plenty of water. Young children, pregnant and lactating mothers, athletes and the elderly are most prone to dehydration during summer months. It seems simple enough, but we always remind: You must replenish want you expend.
• Avoiding the peak hours of sun and heat if at all possible. On a given afternoon, with partly cloudy skies, the hours of 2 to 4 p.m. will deliver the highest temperatures.
• Applying sunscreen liberally and often. No matter how much sunscreen you apply, the SPF should be 15 or higher for adequate protection, or, ideally, 30 or higher for extended time spent outdoors. In addition to using sunscreen, seek shade whenever possible, and wear sun-protective clothing, broad-brimmed hats, and UV ray-blocking sunglasses.
Here’s to your enjoyment of an active, fun, healthy and safe summer.
Steve Baunach is the director of Emergency Services for St.Vincent Carmel Hospital.