July 1, 2011- With the summer season in full swing, Hallmark Health System would like to offer some tips to ensure local families have a safe and healthy summer.

The summer is full of a lot of fun activities that include trips to the beach, backyard barbecues and much more. Still, the same activities can pose a number of health risks the community needs to be aware of.

“Summertime is a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous if people aren’t careful,” said Steven Sbardella, MD, chairman of emergency medicine for Hallmark Health System. “We ask that everyone in the community take the proper precautions so that they don’t end up in one of our emergency departments at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford or Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. We love seeing our neighbors, but would hate to have them come in for a medical problem that could have been prevented.”

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV) are both conditions that humans can contract if bit by an infected mosquito. Lyme disease is another one to watch out for and is contracted by infected deer ticks.

Thankfully there are steps that you can take to protect yourself against EEE, WNV and Lyme disease. Lower your chances of being infected by being proactive and taking the following precautions:

* Wear long sleeve shirts during dusk and dawn
* Use a bug repellant containing DEET
* Remember to screen children and pets that have been outside for ticks and remove them carefully
* Remove standing pools of water to help keep the mosquito population down in your neighborhood

Sun protection is another area of concern during the summer months. Hallmark Health recommends taking the following steps to protect yourself against the sun’s harmful UV rays:

* Apply a broad-spectrum sun block with an SPF of at least 15 every two to four hours. Don’t forget that the lips and scalp need protection, too
* Wear a wide-brimmed hat and protective clothing to keep the sun off of unprotected skin
* Try to avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Parents should also make sure children are wearing helmets if they’re going to be riding their bikes.

If an urgent medical problem develops, visit Hallmark Health’s 24-hour a day, seven day per week emergency care at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford or Melrose-Wakefield Hospital. Both emergency departments offer treatment of minor and acute injuries or illnesses.

For more information about Hallmark Health, visit www.hallmarkhealth.org or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/hallmarkhealth.


Hallmark Health System is the premier, charitable provider of vital health services to Boston's northern communities. The system includes Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Melrose Wakefield Hospital, Melrose; Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center, Stoneham; The CHEM Center for MRI, Stoneham; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; Lawrence Memorial/Regis College Nursing and Radiography Programs, Medford and Hallmark Health Medical Associates, Inc. Hallmark Health is affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital for cardiology and Tufts Medical Center for neonatology.


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