Household Tips

Solving Summer's Little Annoyances

by Anonymous

“I stayed too long in the sun—now what!?”

There are few things more miserable than a bad sunburn. But taking aspirin (only if your doctor approves for your particular situation) can slow the development of the burn. Also, try applying cool compresses or take a cool bath to help relieve the pain. Do not use ice-cold water! Use aloe gel and don’t scratch or peel your skin. Never use petroleum jelly as it seals in the “heat” by preventing sweat from escaping. Next time prevent a burn by applying sunblock liberally according to the instructions on the bottle.

“I get heat rash every summer!”

Try dusting your skin with cornstarch and using calamine lotion or hydrocortisone to ease the itching. Wear clothes that breathe, like cotton in light colors. Dark colors absorb heat and make you feel more miserable. Also, use milder, fragrance-free soaps to bathe. They are less irritating.

“What can be done about heat exhaustion and heat stroke?”

Call 911 or have someone get you to the ER if you have a high fever, nausea, pale and clammy skin, rapid pulse, or feel faint. For milder cases, bring down your body temperature as quickly as possible. For instance, move to a cool, shaded area, or indoors, and elevate your feet above your heart. Sponge yourself with cool water. Avoid taking medicines used to reduce fever. Sip cool water, but not ice-cold. Never drink alcohol or heavily sugared beverages. Sports drinks (such as Gatorade) can help.

“Poison Ivy or Oak?”

Wash with cold running water as quickly as you can after exposure. Buy some calamine lotion or Burow’s solution at your local drugstore to relieve itching. Add some oatmeal or baking soda to tepid bathwater for a soothing soak—also helps to ease itching and dry blisters. In severe cases see your physician.

“Mosquitoes, Mosquitoes, Everywhere!”

Cool compresses can ease mosquito bites and oral antihistamines can reduce itching. Hydrocortisone can help in severe cases. Prevent more bites by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts in heavily infested areas, along with covered shoes and socks, or use bug repellants according to manufacturers instructions. For those who prefer natural solutions, there are many natural bug repellants at your local health food store.