Prepare for the dangers of summer

With summer heat coming in, protection against the weather is essential

Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

We can all feel it. The weather is getting warmer, hopes are getting higher and motivation for school work is getting lower. Summer is almost here.

There is a feeling of freedom that accompanies the summer months and I don’t just mean Fourth of July celebrations.

These freedoms are fun but sometimes this can be interrupted by some common summer problems.

Summers in Nebraska can be brutal. Scorching temperatures with steaming humidity can cause almost anyone to become dehydrated. To avoid it, keep drinking water, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of time outside.

Signs of dehydration are headache, nausea, tiredness and difficulty urinating. If any of these symptoms show up, then it is time to start drinking a lot of water or Gatorade. Another way to avoid getting dehydrated is to limit the time you spend outside in the hot sun. If you have to be outside for work, then try to limit your physical activity or take breaks every so often in the shade.

Sunburn is another common summer ailment. Other than dehydration, sunburn and skin damage are the most harmful parts of the summer sun. Always wear sunscreen when you go outside for an extended period of time.

You and your skin will thank me later in life when you don’t have skin cancer or premature aging. Find what brand and SPF works best for your skin and just slather it on during those bright pool days. Also, don’t forget to reapply as needed (usually every hour and a half).

Bug bites are the absolute worst. The constant itching never seems to go away. There is always a huge increase during the summer. If you are going to be hanging out outside during the evening, then bug spray should be your new best friend. Sometimes bug bites can be more than just annoying.

Those who are allergic or have a sensitivity to bug bites can experience swelling, redness, and worse itching than normal. If this sounds familiar to you, go to an allergy doctor to check the severity of the allergy or sensitivity. But most of the time, taking some Benadryl and applying a topical anti-itch cream can take care of the issue. Caution: Benadryl causes drowsiness, so don’t take it if you will be driving or have a job that you need to be alert at, like lifeguarding.

Summer is the time for camping which means you could be around poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak. These plants have a sap that is extremely irritable to the skin. Symptoms include a rash, itchy skin, burning and redness. The important thing is to know what these plants look like so you can avoid them.

Poison ivy has three leaves that look broad and spoon-shaped. Remember, if it has three, let it be. Poison sumac has 7 to 13 leaves per stem and they are smooth and come to a point. Poison oak isn’t found very often in the Midwest, but it closely resembles oak leaves.

Stay safe this summer. But most importantly, have fun basking in the warm sun and hopefully staying out of shenanigans.