Summer safety tips for beating the heat and staying healthy

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Summer is the time to step up and make the most out of the out-of-doors, but unfortunately, it also is the season when more injuries occur. McLaren Port Huron’s Emergency Center is equipped to treat both major life-threatening and minor emergencies, and its board-certified emergency physicians and specially trained staff care for more than 41,000 patients a year.  When the threat of a serious injury or medical emergency happens, choose the area’s only nationally verified trauma center, McLaren Port Huron.

For conditions such as trauma, heart attack or stroke, it goes without saying that it is always important to act quickly when someone is experiencing symptoms and to call 911 so emergency responders can initiate medical treatment immediately. While with non-life-threatening situations, it may be more difficult to know when to seek treatment in the Emergency room.

Hot, humid weather and summer sports and other hobbies bring an increase in injuries related to active lifestyles. These could include dehydration from the heat, serious sunburns and injuries. Some situations, while they don’t seem life-threatening, may require immediate medical treatment.  

These are ways to make the most of sunshine without suffering from it: 
Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and apply a minimum of every two hours, or more frequently when swimming or sweating.
Encourage those exercising or working in the heat to stay hydrated, rest frequently and, if possible, to avoid being outside until the heat has subsided.
Check on those most affected by extreme heat – children, the elderly and disabled. Air-conditioned locations are the best way to avoid excessive overheating.
Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine when it’s hot. They tend to dehydrate you.
Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
Know the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Physical exertion should begin with one important preparation: stretching. Digging in the flowerbed, biking a scenic tour or scoring the winning run for your baseball team all require muscles to perform properly. Warming up through stretching is a good way to extend your activity. At minimum, warm up for 10 minutes and focus on using proper form during the activity. Afterward, be sure to cool down those muscles.

In most cases, back pain does not require emergency care. However, if you experience any of the following, you should seek emergency care at the hospital:
Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
Can’t feel legs
Stinging nerve pain in the legs
Pain is worse when coughing or bending forward
Pain is severe after rest and medication

Sprains and strains can cause generalized swelling and pain. You may need emergency care if swelling and pain is accompanied with:
Difficulty moving the injured area
Ability to move the area in an unnatural way
Persistent pain while resting

Unfortunately, summer festivities can sometimes lead to ailments, accidents and injuries. This is why McLaren Port Huron offers online registration for non-life-threatening emergencies so you can check in to the ER right from home, choose a time that is convenient and minimize your wait time when you arrive. 

Visit to learn more about online ER check-in for non-life-threatening emergencies.