The school year may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean you should adopt a school’s-out attitude when it comes to your health. Regardless of your plans, heed these simple dos and don’ts to ensure you get a passing grade.
At the Park
DO outsmart the bugs. Wear light-colored, breathable clothing—you’ll be less attractive to bees, which like bright colors. Light colors also make it easier to spot ticks. If you’re planning to be outside for an extended time, spray your clothes, not your skin, with a bug repellent that contains DEET. If you are stung or plagued with insect bites, ice the swollen area, says Meredith Barbour, MD, a family physician at Duke Primary Care Brier Creek. An over-the-counter antihistamine will help reduce the swelling and the itching.
DON’T ignore your body’s warning signs. If a sting or a bite is serious, your body will let you know fairly quickly. Hives, facial swelling, or trouble breathing may signal a severe allergic reaction and require immediate medical care.
At the Backyard BBQ
DO eat seasonal produce. Visit your local farmers market or grow your own. “Fresh fruits and vegetables add color to meals, taste better, and are loaded with vitamins and nutrients,” says Brinkley Sugg, RN, FNP, a family nurse practitioner at Duke Primary Care Morrisville.
DON’T grill meats over high heat. Studies suggest it breaks down muscle proteins in meat and creates a cancer-causing substance, which can jump-start the cancer development process, Barbour says. Shorten grill time by microwaving food first.
For more about these tips and other dos and don'ts on the court and at the beach, read the full post at DukeHealth.org. Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health information and tips every Tuesday.