While most parents think of fall and winter as the months where they need to watch out for illnesses in their children, summer weather and environments bring with them their own host of potential sicknesses. In order to keep children (and adults, for that matter) safe, it’s important to know the causes of common summer illnesses as well as the signs, and how to get treatment. This article will identify and offer information on three of the most common summer illnesses, and detail the best path to take for treatment once the symptoms are identified.
1. Lyme Disease
Perhaps the most common summer illness is lyme disease, a bacterial infection spread by infected ticks, generally deer ticks. The primary symptoms of lyme disease a “bull’s-eye” shaped rash, itching all over the body, fever and chills, and a stiff neck. While lyme disease is no cause to panic, if you or your child is infected, you should see a doctor, who will be able to prescribe antibiotics. However, lyme disease is very avoidable with the proper precautions. Anytime you are outside for extended periods, particularly in heavily wooded areas, wear bug repellent, and if heat permits wear pants or longer shorts–the most common places for tick bites are the ankles and legs, since ticks tend to sit among leaves on the forest floor.
2. Coxsackie Virus
One of the more common of the ‘Entereoviruses,’ Coxsackie virus is caused by ingesting water that is contaminated, usually by feces. The most common sources of the virus are lakes and under-chlorinated pools, so be sure to warn your kids against ingesting any non-drinking water, which is a good idea in general. Symptoms can vary from respiratory infection to diarrhea, vomiting, pinkeye or blisters, particularly on the hands or feet. While the symptoms are unpleasant, there is no real treatment for Coxsackie virus; however, the disease is not usually life-threatening, and it will clear up after a couple of days.
While ingesting infected foods can cause E-coli at any time of year, the bacteria also often spreads from lakes or other bodies of water contaminated by sewage. Symptoms include fever, gas, loss of appetite, and bloody diarrhea, and they develop 1-3 days after infection. In order to protect your family from e-coli, be sure to avoid swimming in any potentially contaminated water, and warn your kids against ingesting non-drinking water. In addition, as with any illness, if an e-coli infection becomes particularly severe or doesn’t disappear after a few days (as it usually will) contact an urgent care professional, such as Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc., if you live in the Desert Valley or Riverside County sections of the state.
Overall, the best advice to avoid summer illnesses is to educate yourself and your kids. While these are three of the most common infections in the summer, others certainly exist, and knowing the causes and symptoms is the best way to protect yourself and your family. And of course, if you ever have any questions or concerns, contact your local healthcare professional.