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6 Ways to Avoid a Summertime Visit to Urgent Care

6 Ways to Avoid a Summertime Visit
to Urgent Care

What are the best ways to avoid a summer trip to urgent care? At SouthStar Urgent Care, we are happy to see you in our clinics, but we’d be even happier to see you stay healthy and safe! Plus, because the change in season offers a break from flu, colds and many viruses, many of the reasons people end up in urgent care in Louisiana during summer are preventable.

Ironically, the reason for many summertime urgent care visits is directly related to fun in the sun and an active lifestyle. We encourage both of these because mental and physical health get a major boost from outside activities. So, carry on, but keep these six urgent care trip-saving tools and advisories in mind:

#1: UV index tools

Use modern tools to track your UV exposure and to avoid too much sun. The weather app on your phone includes the current UV index, with a cue of when to use sun protection. You can also download the SunSmart Global UV App, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s available on the AppStore and on Google Play. An internet search will offer additional options. To understand the UV scale, go to the EPA’s handy page, here: https://www.epa.gov/sunsafety/uv-index-scale-0

#2: Sunscreen and sunglasses

UV levels are so high in the summer that no matter where you are and what the weather, it’s always a good idea to wear sunscreen. Sunshirts and hats are another good barrier against painful and damaging sunburns and overexposure.

Don’t forget your eyes! The WHO estimates that up to up to 20 percent of cataracts worldwide could be caused by overexposure to UV radiation. Be sure that your sunglasses aren’t just tinted glass – that they include UV protection. Though cataracts aren’t something that send people to urgent care, they have long-term health implications that severely impact your vision and quality of life. This blog from the American Academy of Ophthalmology is a helpful shopping guide. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/sunglasses-3

#3: Water and shade

We see many heat-related illnesses in our clinics. Become familiar with heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do for each. We cover this in our blog, here: https://gosouthstar.com/health-blog/heat-stroke-heat-exhaustion-signs-to-watch/. Avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke by seeking shade and drinking about twice the amount of water you would typically.

#4: Insect bite kit and know-how

We see a lot of people for insect bites, including bees, wasps, mosquitoes, spiders and ticks. Keep an over-the-counter anti-itch cream on hand or use a paste of baking soda and water. We offer other tips for caring for insect bites and stings and when to head to urgent care here: https://gosouthstar.com/health-blog/treating-common-summer-bug-bites/. If you or someone in your home uses an EpiPen, be sure you know where it is and that everyone knows how to use it.

#5: Helmets and life jackets

Nothing else on this list can save your life like safety gear. Helmets for biking, skateboarding, climbing, kayaking and other activities are literally lifesavers. Life jackets are the same but having a properly sized life jacket is especially important. Give yours a check and be sure that kids haven’t outgrown last year’s personal flotation device. This useful infographic from BoatUs.org gets you started: https://www.boatus.org/life-jackets/infographic

#6: Refrigerators and coolers

Don’t eat that! Combine warm temperatures with picnics, BBQs and food that’s left on the counter and you have the perfect recipe for food poisoning. Be especially aware of food safety during the summer. Take a look back at this blog on our website to avoid the need for an urgent care trip: https://gosouthstar.com/health-blog/when-to-get-help-for-holiday-bloopers/

If you are cautious about sun you’ll minimize the time you have to spend on the mend or in urgent care this summer. Of course, accidents happen and summer colds and non-seasonal issues like UTIs, headaches and unavoidable aches and pains don’t recognize summer vacation. If you find yourself having an urgent care moment, we’re here to help. And remember, whether you’re close to home or on vacation, just visit our website https://gosouthstar.com/find-a-clinic/ or google “urgent care near me” — with many locations throughout Louisiana chances are there’s a SouthStar close by to serve you!

Reviewed by: Katie Sanne, FNP-C


If you are in a situation that might be life-threatening, go straight to the emergency room or call 911. Situations like this include shortness of breath or breathing problems; seizures or ‘blackouts’; sudden vision problems; confusion or dizziness; heavy bleeding; possible breaks that appear to be deformed or blue, or that include bleeding; serious burns; the inability to speak or move; head and neck injuries.

Get in the game! It’s time for sports physicals for summer camps and sports. SouthStar makes it easy to get this done: just walk in! Find a clinic near you: GoSouthStar.com.