Minor medical emergencies caused by summertime sun and fun can be distressing and ruin a vacation or a day at the park with the kids. Knowing how to handle some of the more common ailments such as sunburn, poison ivy, or bug bites can make the difference between having the fun time you had hoped for, or wishing you had stayed home.


Nothing is more distressing than sunburn. In spite of the plethora of potions that effectively block the burning rays of the sun, many of us will end with a burn before the summer is over. The more fair your skin, the higher the sun block should be. Other than a vacation in the tropics an SPF block of 15-30 should be sufficient. Should you end up with a burn the old time remedies are still the best. Cool applications of apple cider vinegar help calm the burning and the malic acid in the vinegar helps the burn heal. A cool bath with a box of baking soda dissolved in the water also helps relieve the pain and promote healing.


Poison ivy grows in many parts of the US and is responsible for more than 350,000 cases of skin poisoning each year. When the sap of the poison ivy plant makes contact with bare skin it produces redness, rash, swelling, blistering, and intense persistent itching. Learning how to recognize the poison ivy vine is your best protection- also wear protective clothing. If you come in contact with poison ivy wash those areas with soapy water followed by applications hot water. Apply a dilute solution of Burrow’s solution to the affected areas, which can be purchased at your local drug store.


Most insect bites are relatively harmless causing itching and redness; others can be more serious. The sting of a bee, wasp, or hornet can cause severe allergic reaction in some individuals. Most people who are allergic to bee stings carry the necessary  adrenaline injections with them. 


The bite of a tick can turn into a medical nightmare for you or your animals if that tick is infected with Lyme Disease. Wear protective clothing and use a spray with DEET before entering the woods. Perform tick checks after being outside, shower and contain your clothing as to not let the tick loose in your home.  If you are bitten by a tick, remove the tick by grasping the head of the tick with fine tweezers pulling straight up. DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick as it may regurgitate infected blood back into you. Do not burn or attempt to smother the tick.


For muscle or joint strains, sprains or bruises try Arnica. Use Arnica as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Known as the first aid of the homeopathic world this marvelous little ointment is a giant in its ability to reduce swelling, pain and bruising.


Using common sense and caution during the summer months is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe.  If you are seriously injured seek appropriate professional help. Stay safe and have fun. Till next time, Rebecca