Winter is over, and summer is finally here. This time of the year is known for fun outside activities, but being outside unprepared is sometimes a big risk to your health. Here are a few things to look out for during your summer adventures so you don’t end up ill and unable to enjoy the sun. Check out these common summer ailments.

Insects are one of the biggest health concerns for the summer months. Mosquitos and ticks are sneaky and can bite you without even being detected. Mosquito bites are annoying and itchy but if the mosquito that bit you was carrying a virus like the West Nile virus, it can spell trouble. People who are infected can show no symptoms at all. Others may develop a fever or other cold-like symptoms, and a very small percentage of those infected can even suffer neurological damage. To enjoy the outdoors, bring bug repellent and wear protective clothing. If planning to stay in one area for an extended period, light a citronella candle to deter these pesky bugs.

Ticks are another insect to watch out for. These parasitic creatures live in tall grass and wooded areas. They can infect you with an array of illnesses, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which can actually be fatal if left untreated. This illness is characterized by fever, rashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pains, and red eyes and can affect neurological systems. If you find a tick on you but haven’t experienced these symptoms, take a trip to your doctor anyway just to be sure. To keep ticks at bay, apply bug repellant. These critters like to hide in your armpits, between toes, and sometimes in your hair. Make sure to thoroughly check yourself after a day out, especially if you’ve been in the woods.

Water fun is another summer must, whether it’s at a beach, lake, or pond. These big bodies of water can be contaminated without you even knowing. Accidentally swallowing small amounts of contaminated water can lead to illnesses like enteroviruses and even E Coli, so be sure to stay afloat and avoid water deeper than you are tall so you don’t run the risk of going under and accidentally ingesting harmful bacteria.

The summer months bring hot weather our way and it’s great for laying out, but make sure that your food doesn’t do the same. Food poisoning is very common during the summer months because some food products cannot handle 90 to 100-degree heat for an extended period. Bacteria can form when food is left out in the heat so make sure you’re careful with any snacks sitting out.

Summer can be a very relaxing and exciting time, but make sure to keep you and your family safe this year. Apply bug repellant, bring bottled water, and make sure the food for your picnic isn’t left in the heat for long. If you suspect you have any of these summer ailments or any others, contact your doctor ASAP. Most importantly, enjoy the summer!