Summer Solstice: Things You Need to Know on the First Official Day of Summer

June 20, 2016

Summer has arrived. Here are few things you should know before heading out the door in the hot weather months:

Air Quality

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) regularly issues air quality advisories during the summer. That's when air quality specialists at the DEEP tell us that weather patterns are creating elevated ground-level ozone pollution in parts of Connecticut. This happens mainly when temperatures and humidity rise.

Children, elderly and those with respiratory diseases such as asthma, COPD or emphysema should limit their time outdoors during these days. Poor air quality can cause or make respiratory issues more problematic by causing difficulty breathing, coughing and throat irritation.

The DEEP says peak ozone levels occur from 12 -8 p.m. so it is a good idea to get your exercise routine in before or after these peak hours.



From the Expert

Setu Vora

Dr. Setu Vora, MD, pulmonologist on Backus Hospital Medical Staff and Medical Director, Critical Care Services and Quality for Hartford HealthCare’s East Region, offered some helpful tips and advice for the summer.

  • If you can take time off in the summer-- do it! Time off is not only good for mental health but also for productivity.
  • Patients with existing respiratory problems such as asthma, COPD and emphysema should take precautions when the forecast calls for hazyhotand humid weather. Hot summer weather and compromised ozone conditions can contribute to respiratory flare ups.
  • Avoid extended time outdoors. Stay in air conditioning when possible so there is a less of a chance of a flare up.
  • Use common sense outdoors. Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and avoid direct sun when possible.
  • Be prepared when traveling. If you have a respiratory condition that requires an inhaler, store it in a cool, dry place. Never leave inhalers in a hot care as high temperatures can change the potency of the medication.​


Beach, pool and summer camp safety

Enjoying the great outdoors is what summer is all about but overdoing it can lead to some health issues.  Be mindful of the following things when planning outdoor time:

Heat Stroke can set in after prolonged exposure to heat to or physical exertion in high temperatures. Seek medical attention if you experience:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Flushed skin
  • Altered mental state or behaviors
  • Rapid breathing
  • Racing heart rate

Swimming can be a nice relief from the heat and great physical activity but be sure to take the proper safety precautions when heading out into the water.

  • Swim in designated swimming areas supervised by lifeguards
  • Never swim alone
  • Do not leave children unattended by water.
  • Have the right equipment. Wear life jackets when operated boats or other watercrafts.
  • Protect your skin. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50. Limit time in direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Hydration is so important when spending time in the heat. Avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine in them while out in the sun as they can cause dehydration. Water is the best beverage of choice to beat the heat. Pack water bottles for children attending outdoor camps or activities.

Hartford HealthCare Urgent Care Facilities

If you need medical care, Hartford HealthCare’s wide network of urgent care centers are always here to help:

Primary & Urgent Care
339 West Main Street
Avon, CT 06001

22 Pine Street, Suite 104
Bristol, CT 06010

163 Broadway
Colchester, CT 

HHC Primary & Urgent Care
406 Farmington Ave
Farmington, CT 06032
Phone: 860.677.3950

Ledyard Backus Family Health Center
2 Lorenz Parkway
Ledyard, Ct 
Phone: 860.464.3104

80 Norwich-New London Tpke
Uncasville CT 

Norwichtown Backus Family Health Center
42 Town Street, Norwichtown, Ct
Phone: 860.886.0567

South Windsor
1559 Sullivan Avenue
South Windsor, Connecticut 06074
Phone: 860.696.2350 

863 N Main St Ext
Suite 101
Wallingford, CT
Phone: 203.694.5500 

West Hartford, Bishop’s Corner
336 North Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06117

West Hartford, South Main
445 South Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06117

1025 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06109

On the News: Summer Air Quality


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