How to best handle heat and other summer related illnesses at the Jersey Shore
You'll be able to have some fun in the sun this summer, be it at the beach, boardwalk, amusement park or even a home barbecue, but no matter what you do and when, you'll need to do all you can to be safe and healthy and look out for family, friends and neighbors.
It's been a long year plus during the pandemic but now is the time to get in shape and healthy for summer.
Ocean County Public Health Coordinator Dan Regenye says getting outside to exercise and into a healthy routine will help lower your chances of getting a virus including covid.
"Now is a great time of year in the spring and the summertime to be able to take advantage of the outdoors and get into an exercise routine, that will help them with everything. God forbid there's a relapse of some of the Covid cases, what we're generally seeing with the Covid cases is that people that are generally healthy, they're fairing pretty well but that's a general rule of thumb for everything whether it's your general viral infection or bacterial...the healthier you are as a person, the better your body is to fight off that infection whether it's covid or anything else," Regenye said.
Regenye encourages you to get back into an exercise routine by doing something like going for a walk, a bike ride or even to the boardwalk or beach with the family.
Don't underestimate the affects of the sun and heat when you go out this summer though.
Regenye says it's important to hydrate by drinking plenty of water, especially the day before, and then continuously applying sunscreen.
"In the summertime, if you're going to be out in the sun and sand and things of that nature make sure you stay hydrated and that really starts the day before to try and start those fluids coming in and drinking a lot of water before that," Regenye said. "When you're out here enjoying the beaches in Ocean County, try and take all the responsible approaches to that with the sunscreen and covering up, especially with the kids. It's a very short period of time where some of those affects are really devastating for the kids and all people in general related to sun burn and you want to do everything you can with the proper sunscreen. Everybody is different with their ski tone so you want to make sure you have the proper SPF for that."
Heat related illnesses are one of the more common summertime health concerns every year.
Whether it's you or someone nearby, get out of the heat and humidity if you start to feel ill.
But, how do you know what heat illness may look like?
"Some of the things that we look for initially is that they may get a little bit confused or maybe they're not speaking right, sweating profusely, initially they'll start out and may be very flush in color. As it progresses and becomes a true emergency, you'll actually stop sweating because your body's compensatory mechanisms are starting to fail at this point in time," Howell Township Police-EMS Coordinator Peg Doyle said. "The biggest thing is to get them out of the heat, get them into a cooler environment and if you can't get them into the air-conditioning, at least get them into the shade."
Then Doyle says, "get any restrictive or tight clothing loosened up for them."
If/when it becomes an emergency, it's better for them that you call 9-1-1 instead of trying to bring them to the hospital on your own.
"It's really important that you summon 9-1-1 to the scene. The EMT's and paramedics are much better equipped to handle these type of emergencies," Doyle said.
To help avoid such a scenario she stresses the importance of being hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Another concern during the summertime are getting stung by a bee, which can really hurt, but is something very serious if you're allergic or react in a negative way.
"Bee stings are a big issue, most people who are allergic don't really have their epi-pens readily available and it is a life-threatening emergency. If you're stung and you start to feel funny, it's really important that you call 9-1-1 pretty quickly," Doyle said.