RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- Whether you're at the beach, on a boat, camping or relaxing poolside, summertime can be the ultimate season of relaxation. However, letting down your guard against summer's crueler elements can curtail some of the season's most enjoyable activities.
When out in the sun during peak hours, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and protective clothing. Be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and reapply often throughout the day.
Heat-related illness can become serious if it is not recognized and treated early. Heat exhaustion may happen with overexertion and not drinking enough water in hot weather. Heat stroke can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical help. Symptoms can include weakness, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, heavy sweating, nausea and cramps.
For those at the pool and beach, be sure to swim with the supervision of lifeguards. For parents, keeping an eye on your child can ensure an accident is prevented before it ever happens. Going on a boat ride? Be sure to wear a PFD, as boating accidents without a life vest can turn dangerous quickly.
If heading out to the woods for a hike is your idea of fun, be sure to pack the proper insect repellent. Mosquitos, ticks and other bugs are out in full force during the summer, and nothing can cause an afternoon to go south faster than itchy red bites. Wearing insect repellent is one way to help protect against these seasonal pests.
For bee stings, be sure you're not allergic and use a credit card to gently brush the barb from underneath the skin. Ticks can be removed with a pair of tweezers and should be checked for Lyme disease if embedded for more than 48 hours.
Summer is a great time to get outdoors, but be sure to exercise proper care and use common sense. Should an issue arise, visit one of Valley's urgent care locations across Bergen County.
Dr. George Becker is the Director of the Emergency Department at The Valley Hospital.