Healthy Manhattan: Tips for a Safe Summer

Written by Dr. Cynthia Paulis on . Posted in Healthy Manhattan, Posts.

Summer is a great time of year, but there are hazards that you need to be aware of that can ruin a great vacation. So be vigilant and use common sense.


As the saying goes, "Leaves of three, let them be." Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac all have three leaves and can cause an itchy rash through direct or indirect contact (touching the fur of a pet that has brushed against them), and even through airborne particles if someone is burning any of these plants and you are in the path of the smoke.


A tick the size of a poppy seed can crawl under your clothes, latch on to your skin and draw blood, infecting you with Lyme disease. Always check yourself for ticks. If you have a fever, bull’s eye rash, headache and joint pain, seek medical attention immediately.


Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus, although the chances are low. Never leave standing water out and cover up when going outside at dusk and use a mosquito repellant.


When the temperature rises, it is important to continue to hydrate yourself with plenty of water, with a minimum of 64 ounces daily or more if you are exerting yourself. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, heat exhaustion and, the worst case scenario, heat stroke.


Always wear sunscreen SPF 30 and wear a hat and protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays.


Never go barefoot, which can lead to cuts, burns and foot fungi. Always wear shoes when walking on boardwalks to prevent splinters.


Rapid onset of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea and abdominal cramps occur with food poisoning. This happens if foods with mayonnaise and dairy products are left uncovered and exposed to heat. Always keep all food products chilled properly.


Bee stings can cause a serious allergic reaction. It’s always a good idea to keep some Benadryl on hand until you can seek medical attention.