With summer and warm weather arriving, there are inevitably more days outside. This brings more opportunity for fun, but also more opportunity for risk. Be a more active consumer in your health this summer by making sure you’re checking the boxes for summer wellness.
Easy Access to the First Aid Kit
Before your kids go on play-dates, you should familiarize yourself with where the first aid kit
is. You might even want to move it to a more accessible location, like the kitchen counter instead of the upstairs medicine cabinet. I remember one summer when I was playing outside (barefoot) and I knocked over a glass on the table. It shattered and the pieces fell into the grass. In an attempt to maneuver to avoid the shards, I sliced the bottom of my foot. Thankfully, a nurse lived next door and had supplies available. However, since most of us don’t live next door to a nurse, you’ll want to have a first aid kit with antiseptic, gauze, medical tape and other essentials
This Won’t Hurt a Bit…
It’s expected kids will get some scrapes and bruises when they play outside. Take a preventative approach to encounters with more menacing items like rusted nails by making sure kids (and yourself) are up to date on shots like tetanus. You can review recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here
By summer, most people have a good handle on their seasonal allergies. However, your supply of medicine may be running low. You’ll also want to make sure your kids know how to identify poison ivy and other toxic plants.
Although these plants don’t produce allergic reactions, the oils on them can still cause harmful rashes that take time to treat.
It’s generally recommended to have an annual physical exam. If you haven’t had yours yet this year (or your inner hypochondriac is coming out), it’s a good time to schedule a doctor’s visit
. If it is your annual exam, there is a good chance it is covered by insurance. However, if not, your Flexible Spending Account or other pre-tax accounts can likely be used to pay for a part or all of the visit. As most of us know, appointments are rarely a “Call today, go in tomorrow” arrangement. To secure a summer appointment, reach out to your doctor now. Some offices may even offer the ability to schedule appointments through an app or on your phone, avoiding the need to call in and talk to a receptionist.
On the Up-Tick
Summer is a favorite time for hikes and exploring woodsy trails. But when you go out, make sure you have proper protection from seasonal diseases. During the summer, cases of West Nile, Lyme disease, and tics are on the up-tick with humid days and muggy nights. Even generic mosquito bites from campfire gatherings, although unlikely to bring disease, can infringe on summer wellness. Ward them off with spray or lotion products
or methods like insect-repellent candles.
Hang Up and Hang Out
Electronics can be great for keeping tabs on older children who seem wed to their devices or for catching up on news, your social media feed, or sports. But to maximize your summer wellness, encourage times where everyone decides to hang up (in a manner of speaking) and hang out. Disconnecting from electronics can be one of the best ways to reconnect with each other.
However you decide to cultivate summer wellness this year, make sure you’re having fun as you get some sun.
Note: This topic is intended to provide general wellness tips. All items discussed may not be eligible for reimbursement through an FSA or other pre-tax benefit account. Please review your plan documentation or check out the eligible expense resources.