As summer approaches, you may be planning pool parties, picnics, nights at the baseball stadium, and trips to the beach. Something that’s probably not on your list is a visit to the nearest immediate care center. Unfortunately, many of these fun summer activities can lead to illnesses and injuries requiring medical attention. Below, PhysicianOne Urgent Care lists five of the most common reasons for summer urgent care visits so that you can try to avoid them and learn how to treat them, if necessary.
Fire pits, grills, fireworks and sparklers, and even the sun itself—all of these can cause painful (and potentially severe) burns. While minor burns can often be treated at home—for example, by bandaging the wound, applying a cold compress, and taking over-the-counter pain medication—more severe burns require professional care.
2. Heat Exhaustion
Rising summer temperatures increase the risk of developing heat exhaustion, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “the body’s response to an excessive loss of water and salt, usually through excessive sweating.” Symptoms may include heavy sweating, thirst, an increased body temperature, reduced urine output, headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, and irritability.
A trained medical provider—like the ones at PhysicianOne Urgent Care—can provide customized treatment recommendations. With that being said, if you suspect that you have heat exhaustion, you should try to cool yourself down by moving to a shaded or indoor area, removing all unneeded clothing, applying cold compresses, and sipping cool water. It’s important to promptly seek treatment for heat exhaustion because, when left untreated, it can progress into heat stroke, a life-threatening condition requiring emergency care.
Often accompanying heat exhaustion, dehydration occurs when someone doesn’t have enough fluids to perform normal bodily functions. In addition to thirst, this can cause an increased heart rate, rapid breathing, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, dark-colored urine, and decreased urine output. Severe dehydration requires medical treatment, which may involve intravenous administration of fluids and salts.
4. Food Poisoning
What’s the centerpiece of a backyard barbecue? The food, of course! Unfortunately, refreshments and snacks tend to be left out too long at summer parties, which can lead to a bad case of food poisoning. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you shouldn’t leave food unrefrigerated for more than two hours (one hour in temperatures above 90° F), since doing so can cause bacteria to grow to “dangerous levels.” Food poisoning can often be treated at home—by resting, eating a bland and low-fat diet, taking over-the-counter medication, and staying hydrated—but you should be sure to consult with a medical provider if symptoms are severe or last for longer than 48 hours.
5. Injuries From Outdoor Activities
This all-encompassing category includes a wide array of injuries that tend to occur when people venture outside during the summer months. For example, maybe you sustained a concussion or a sprained ankle when you slipped on the pool deck. Perhaps you were bitten by a tick or another type of insect while camping. Or maybe you pulled a muscle when you joined a pick-up game of softball or basketball. Treatment will depend on the exact condition being treated and various other factors, so you should consult with an experienced medical practitioner.
The Urgent Care Provider to Choose Near You
If you’re experiencing any of the conditions listed above—or any other non-life-threatening illness or injury—you can turn to PhysicianOne Urgent Care for treatment. We’re the ideal choice for patients across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York—all of our immediate care centers are certified and accredited by the Urgent Care Association (UCA), we’re open every day of the year with extended hours, and we accept most major insurances (with affordable self-pay options also available). We even offer 24/7 telehealth virtual visits for patients who wish to receive care remotely. Click here to find out if we have a location near you.