5 Summer Health Concerns From Food Poisoning to Diarrhea & How to Prevent Them

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Jul 01, 2015 07:19 AM EDT

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MAY 10: Lia Calavro (L) and Jamie Sadler sit in the sun while laying on the beach on May 10, 2012 in Key Biscayne, Florida. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that indicated that although protective behaviors such as sunscreen use, shade use, and wearing long clothing to the ankles have increased in recent years, sunburn prevalence remains high, with 50.1% of all adults and 65.6% of whites aged 18-29 years reporting at least one sunburn in the past 12 months. (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The summer season may be the excellent time to frolic on the sand and dive in the pools but experts warn that due to the warm weather, it can also be the best time for bacteria and illness-causing microorganisms to proliferate.

CNN writes that according to Melinda Wilkins from the Michigan State University, bacteria follow usually multiply in summer, where foodborne pathogens can easily be passed around through camping, picnics and other outdoor activities.

With this in mind, here is a list of the top 5 summer health concerns and tips on how to prevent them:

HEALTH CONCERN: Food poisoning & Diarrhea. A lot of people blame the salad or cream-based soups for making them sick but Wilkins states that frozen burger patties and undercooked meats are the usual culprit in bringing E. Coli to your body. 

PREVENTION: Always remember that beef and pork are best cooked to 160 degrees while chicken and turkey need 165 degrees. A thermometer can help campers and picnic-goers determine the proper temperature. For cold foods, keep it safe in coolers or containers with ice.

HEALTH CONCERN: Difficulty in breathing. This is usually brought about by dirty air conditioning filters as they work round-the-clock during the summer season.

PREVENTION: Keep filters in proper working conditions by cleaning and replacing them every three months. Wear gas masks as molds and bacteria may be breeding in them.

HEALTH CONCERN: Eye Infection. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cause of eye irritation is usually not chlorine but pee, sweat and sometimes, poop from swimmers. When these are mixed with chlorine, they form chloramine compounds that can sting your eyes and even trigger asthma attacks.

PREVENTION: Make sure to pee or poop before diving in the pool. Use pool test strips to check if the swimming pool's chlorine levels are still within the CDC recommend level of 7.2 to 7.8 pH.

HEALTH CONCERN: Jellyfish stings. Jellyfish stings can be fatal. They are prevalent in beaches and are said to multiply in warm water.

PREVENTION: Rinse rashes in saltwater or vinegar to relieve stinging and swelling.

HEALTH CONCERN: Sunburn. Getting those precious tan lines seem to be the best way to commemorate summer memories but experts believe they should be considered as dangerous wounds. One study in 2014 even showed a link between blistering sunburns and the risk of developing skin cancer.

PREVENTION: Make it a habit to put on sunscreen all over your body, including your face. CNN highly recommends lotions with SPF 30 and SPF 50. In case of burn, immediately apply a prescribed antibiotic ointment.

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