Fun in the sun: Health expert provides advice to enjoy outdoors safely in summer heat

HMG Health Matters

(WJHL) — With summertime here, health experts remind the community to stay safe and healthy while enjoying the warmer temperatures.

News Channel 11 spoke with Holston Valley Medical Group’s urgent care physician Dr. Polly Billips, who said sunscreen isn’t an option.

“Wear light clothing, seek out shady spots when you can,” Billips said. “It’s very important to stay well hydrated. The more water, the better. Limit caffeine and alcohol intake in the summer heat.”

In addition to applying at least SPF 50 every two hours, Billips also advises folks to wear the appropriate clothing depending on the outdoor adventure.

“Wear appropriate clothing and shoes and have reliable communication and other devices if you enjoy outdoor wilderness activities and navigation means are important,” she said.

Another necessity when spending time outdoors — insect propellant.

Billips said insects are responsible for most deaths worldwide. Ticks, which are prevalent in the Northeast Tennessee region, can spread disease, and bee stings threaten those who are allergic.

“Bee stings are a nuisance for most people, but for some people, it can be deadly,” she said. “Anaphylactic reactions are the worst and always require immediate medical care including the use of an EpiPen and other emergency measures.”

While Billips said many summertime injuries can be treated at home, she said urgent care facilities are the best place to go for non-life-threatening injuries.

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