Summertime health

Summer health issues_Feet relaxing in water
More episodes in the Sounds Like Health Podcast

School is out for summer! A pediatric nurse practitioner discusses some common health issues that pop up during these hot summer months.

Episode Transcript

Mary Leigh Meyer: Howdy, welcome to Sounds Like Health. I am Mary Leigh Meyer.

Sam Craft: I’m her cohost, Sam Craft.

Mary Leigh Meyer: We are here today with the wonderful Dr. Katie Hepfer. She’s a pediatric nurse practitioner with the Texas A&M College of Nursing.

Katie Hepfer: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here!

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah, we’re excited you’re here.

Sam Craft: Yay.

Mary Leigh Meyer: We’re talking about… It’s summertime now-

Katie Hepfer: Summertime, yeah.

Mary Leigh Meyer: …so we’re talking about the different types of health issues and different things we need to watch out for.

Katie Hepfer: Yeah, I feel like this time of year in the clinic I work in, I work in a pediatric clinic, I really kind of ramp up some of my patient education when it comes to summer health topics. The two that come to my mind are water safety and sun safety, both sun and water, things we need in life, but things that can present different hazards. There’s so much to talk about regarding those things both for children, which is what I emphasize in, but also for adults and teenagers too.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah, absolutely. I know I got pretty beaten up by the sun last week.

Sam Craft: I guess I’m just weird. I worry about West Nile Virus and things. Sunburns, I think that’s a pretty much common thing for me. I just accept that it’s going to happen to me at some point.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Oh, that’s a terrible mindset to have.

Sam Craft: The bigger, scarier things is what freak me out.

Katie Hepfer: They are. I’m still fairly new to Texas, and there’s so much between the West Nile you talk about, Zika. There’s-

Sam Craft: We’re like the Australia of the United States-

Katie Hepfer: Of the U.S. Yeah.

Sam Craft: … with all these weird animals and very poisonous things.

Katie Hepfer: Spiders, the fire ants, the snakes.

Sam Craft: Yes. It’s terrifying.

Katie Hepfer: Yes. It’s a jungle out there.

Sam Craft: It really is a jungle.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Which one should we talk about first?

Katie Hepfer: I guess something that has been in the news a lot lately is, I guess we can start with sun-

Sam Craft: Yeah, the sunscreen. What is it? The-

Mary Leigh Meyer: It’s like the sunscreen toxicity, like too much-

Sam Craft: Yeah, the chemicals are getting down into your bloodstream or something, and everybody’s freaking out about it.

Katie Hepfer: Right. The Journal of American Medical Association, JAMA, they published a study, I guess this week, showing that some of the four main active ingredients that are in commercially available sunblocks have been shown to actually be absorbing into the bloodstream. What they found is that there is a plasma concentration level if you’re following the recommended application guidelines, which is to reapply every two hours, use it generously. They’re finding that when following those directions as we should that there’s actually some absorption into the bloodstream, and the plasma concentration levels are higher than the FDA initially recommends.

Of course, there’s more information we need there. We need to know what does this mean for us. Does it mean that sunblocks are unsafe? Well, I don’t think so. We know that they prevent things that are scary like skin cancer, but we really don’t know the clinical effect of this sort of thing long term, so I think there’s more research that needs to be done there, which is interesting.

Sam Craft: Sunscreen’s been around for-

Katie Hepfer: Forever.

Sam Craft:  … ever. This is just now coming to light with this? I don’t want to dig too far into it. I’m just curious just because I read the story like two days ago.

Katie Hepfer: I mean, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. We knew there were chemicals in sunblock. We knew that there had to be something there that can block out sun rays, UVA and UVB rays, and so there has to be something strong there. There are organic sunscreens that people swear by. I’ve never tried them myself, but I know that there are other options out there that might be safer for children, for adults.

Mary Leigh Meyer: What does this mean for parents of young children? Does this mean that they should be hesitant about using sunscreen?

Katie Hepfer: I don’t think so. I have two young kids, and I’m always trying to keep them healthy and reduce exposure to environmental hazards. Again, we’re not at the point where we’re saying these are unsafe, they’re being taken off the market. What it’s just saying is that we know now that there’s some absorption into the bloodstream and, again, we need to look at this longer term to see if that really means anything. I guess if you are worried you can look for other sunblocks that don’t have some of the four main chemical ingredients. Oxybenzone is one that is very common. I don’t recall the other three off the top of my head, but looking for some other brands out there that are more natural, that also provide protection against UVA, UVB rays, a broad spectrum sunblock.

Mary Leigh Meyer: It’s nothing to panic about?

Katie Hepfer: Nothing to panic about. There are always these studies going on, which is good. We need these ongoing studies so we can revise what’s out there, but I don’t think we need to hit a full panic mode.

Sam Craft: Well, it’s just like it’s summer, so let’s do sunscreen. But realistically you use sunscreen all year round. I work outside a lot in the fall, and I take it for granted that, “Oh, it’s just not hot. I don’t need any sunscreen.”

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Sam Craft: Wrong.

Katie Hepfer: Wrong. I mean, 70 percent of sun rays can come through clouds. You’re right, it’s year round. I know on my phone when you look at the weather there’s a UV index number that you can look for any time of the day all year long. We know that 10 and higher that’s very, very strong. Seven and higher is pretty strong, you can burn kind of quickly. Ones, twos, and threes you’re probably better. Looking at that before you’re going outside to mow the lawn, to play with the kids, no matter what time of year can be helpful.

Sam Craft: Can you get sunburned on a cloudy day?

Katie Hepfer: Absolutely. Yeah.

Sam Craft: I’ve heard that sometimes that’s actually worse than a full on sunny day. Does it just depend on the UV index?

Katie Hepfer: Yep, exactly. It depends on the index and what types of rays are coming through. There’s some rays that are more burning quality, some that are more the deeper skin cancer producing rays. General protection is always good. Now besides sunblock we tell parents that the best thing you can be doing is just putting your children in shade, staying in the shade as much as you can, big hats, sunglasses to protect the eyes. They make those wonderful shirts, those rash guards for swim attire that just provide a little bit more protection. If you really are worried about the sunblock ingredients, then covering up your kids is the best thing you can do.

Mary Leigh Meyer: What about the different SPFs and waterproof versus water resistant versus… When we are selecting sunscreen at the store, what should we… kind of some general best practices we should look for?

Sam Craft:Yeah. Why do they make a 30, but they also make an 80?

Mary Leigh Meyer: 80, yeah.

Sam Craft: Why wouldn’t you want the higher one off the bat?

Katie Hepfer: Right. It’s interesting. There’s actually very little research about if there’s any benefit above SPF 50. We know that you want something at least SPF 15. Below that, you’re not really doing much.

Sam Craft: 50 or 15?

Katie Hepfer: 15, one, five. We don’t know if anything above five, zero does anything different between so say you’re using…

Sam Craft: Besides cost three more dollars.

Katie Hepfer: Yes. It says SPF 100, I feel good about that, but whether or not it does anything more than SPF 50 if you’re reapplying and using it as directed, maybe not. Definitely getting something at least SPF 15 or higher we know provides good protection. I tell everyone there’s no such thing as waterproof sunblock because it wears off. It absorbs. It wears off. It comes off. Even though it might say it’s sweat proof, it’s waterproof, it’s still important to reapply. It’s still important to wait those 15 to 20 minutes, actually 30 minutes ideally before jumping in a pool after you put on your sunblock. You really need it to start working, give it time to set in before you start running around and sweating it off.

Sam Craft: Along with sunscreen and sunburns and all that stuff, I think one of the biggest things I deal with in the summer is mosquito bites or bug bites. If you’re out in the field playing as a kid growing up or whatever, I guess we called them chiggers? Go over some of those. What are some of your tips for that kind of stuff? I guess outdoor wilderness or just outdoor in general things that happen to you.

Katie Hepfer: As with most things, prevention is key. The more that we can do to avoid those scary things out there, the better. Bug repellent, bug spray, sort of along the same line as sunscreen there’s so many different ingredients, so many active ingredients, but just finding something that says it helps repel mosquitoes, insects, that sort of thing. Making sure people are covered it in before going out to play is important.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Now I’m starting to think about what I’m going to want to do after. I want to find my anti-itch. I want to find some-

Sam Craft: Ointment cream? Something like that?

Mary Leigh Meyer:Yeah, I need some-

Sam Craft: Kind of just make it stop hurting.

Mary Leigh Meyer:  … sun relief. Or like the pink lotion.

Sam Craft: Yeah.

Katie Hepfer: Right. We talked about prevention. So that’s obviously the best step to preventing bug bites, insect stings, but we all know that despite those efforts it still happens. What do we do once you have a bug bite? Everyone has a little bit of a different tolerance or hypersensitivity to insect stings. Some people are very sensitive to mosquitoes, some seem to never get bit. Washing off the area if it is something that if you’re not sure really what you got into, but you know that you’re itching and you’re seeing a rash forming. Washing it off with soap can get any oils off if it is something like poison ivy rather than like an insect sting or bite is always good. Washing the area also helps prevent infection down the road and then applying an antihistamine type cream, a steroid cream, anything like that to help bring down the hypersensitivity response.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Poison ivy can get on your clothes too.

Sam Craft: Oh, yeah.

Katie Hepfer: It’s the oils that can get on your clothes and then later you rub up against or it gets on your skin. Again, some people are sensitive to it, some aren’t. Washing off the area with soap to get those oils off is how you can help minimize.

Sam Craft: I had really bad poison ivy one time, and it actually burned my skin. It was weird. It used to be like itchy, scratchy, red bumps, but it actually almost looked like a chemical burn. I thought that was really weird. Is that common?

Katie Hepfer: Yeah, it can be. You must just be very sensitive to it.

Sam Craft: Poison oak as well-

Katie Hepfer: Or poison oak, yeah.

Sam Craft: … Yeah. Either one.

Katie Hepfer: There are a lot of things, and we don’t always know what it is that we got into or what got us until a little bit down the road when we start to itch a little bit.

Sam Craft: Yeah.

Katie Hepfer: Things to look out for is if it’s starting to look infected, if it’s becoming a burn type situation where more layers of the skin are involved. A cellulitis is when the infection is spreading to the bloodstream and surrounding tissue. That would be reason to see a medical provider in case you need something systemic like steroids, antibiotics, that sort of thing.

Mary Leigh Meyer: But in the meantime, you think just an antihistamine.

Sam Craft: Don’t scratch it.

Katie Hepfer: Don’t scratch it I tell people.

Sam Craft: Don’t scratch it. Oh, man.

Katie Hepfer: There’s a lot of wonderful things over the counter for anti-itch, that pink cream that our moms put on us when we had itches and that kind of stuff.

Sam Craft: Most people you have that kind of stuff around the house, I think. What about on your clothes? Talking about bug bites and that kind of stuff. Is there anything you can kind of prepare yourself? You know you’re going to be outside in the summer in the evenings and mosquitoes are pretty prevalent or you’re in that kind of area, can you prepare your clothes? Can you spray your clothes down with anti-bug stuff? Is that real effective?

Katie Hepfer: Yeah, definitely. Spraying with bug spray. They actually make specific clothes spray.

Sam Craft: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Katie Hepfer: Part of it can be a marketing ploy. It’s really just the same-

Sam Craft: Still.

Katie Hepfer: … but it’s applying those active anti-insect ingredients to clothing. They like those areas that are exposed, but they can also get into the clothes, around the clothes making sure you’re remembering neck. I always say if you don’t want to be spraying an aerosol on your face, spray into your hands, rub, then apply to your ears, your neck, your cheeks, that sort of thing.

Sam Craft: That’s a good idea. I never thought about that.

Mary Leigh Meyer: We always had in our backyard those Tiki torches that put out the-

Sam Craft: Yeah, we always had bug zappers. Zap.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Citronella candles. Yeah.

Sam Craft: Bug zapper is way more fun.

Katie Hepfer: The sound of summer. Yep.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Does that stuff have DEET? What’s the word DEET that I’ve heard before?

Katie Hepfer: DEET is the active chemical ingredient in insect repellent. Things like citronella, candles, that’s something different, a different aroma that sort of wards off insects. There are a lot of natural things too for those people who are more into the natural products. Things like vanilla and… I can’t remember some of the other more natural smells that insects just don’t like. It kind of repels them. If you’re really opposed to using the stronger chemical things, if you’re not going to be in the deep woods and you’re kind of just sitting out on a screened in porch, you can use something that has some of those more pleasant smells that are just natural repellents.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Another outdoor thing in the summer is pool safety, water safety. Can you speak a little bit about that?

Katie Hepfer: Sure. Water safety is such an important topic. Again, I emphasize it at all of my well child checkups especially heading into the summer. It is the leading cause… We know that it’s the leading cause of injury related death in children. Beyond toddlers and young kids, it’s also a big hazard for teenagers. They’re less risk adverse. They sometimes have alcohol, drugs, involved, and so it’s really toddlers and teens that I’m focusing on.

Katie Hepfer: Drowning isn’t always what we think it is, and that’s what I tell families. It’s not always the times we’re at the pool and we’re thinking about drowning, it’s those times when we’re not thinking about drowning when it can become something serious and scary. Drowning can be silent. It’s not always what we think it is. It’s not a kid splashing around in the pool, it’s those two seconds that you turn your head and a child wanders off into could be a pool, could be a retention pond. I have one near my house. I have two young kids like I said. It’s always in the back of my mind. Storm drains, buckets, toilets, bathtubs. You say, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to go grab a towel,” and it only takes a few seconds.

Drowning, it’s rare, but it happens and the thing about it is it’s deadly. There’s no in between. It’s either not happening or it happens in a split second, and so it’s that intensity behind the conversation that I really try and emphasize with families that there needs to be someone always keeping eyes on small children especially because it can happen that quickly. No one is immune.

Sam Craft: Is it like you can drown in two inches of water?

Katie Hepfer: Two inches of water. Yep. One to two inches.

Sam Craft: It’s at that level? One to two inches.

Katie Hepfer: Yeah. It just takes enough for a child to flip over and their nose to be submerged, their face to be submerged. It could happen after a head injury. Someone falls or a child has a seizure, and you don’t know.

Sam Craft: Well, being that little they don’t know not to breathe in.

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Sam Craft: I have a three-year-old. That freaks me out every time. The bath, it’s just-

Katie Hepfer: That’s good. It should.

Sam Craft: … scares me.

Katie Hepfer: I tell people it should scare you. It should freak you out to think about. There just needs to be someone having their eyes on someone at all times.

Sam Craft: Sure.

Katie Hepfer: I don’t know with your three-year-old if you ever have looked into the infant survival swim that they have now.

Sam Craft: No, I haven’t.

Katie Hepfer: There’s a new program… It’s not new. It’s becoming more popular, more well known. Infant survival swim or infant rescue swim. It’s basically the idea that we can teach kids through sensory, motor learning from a young age, six months and older, how to survive if they were to fall in a body of water. The principle behind it is just training them to flip over onto their backs so they can float. I think it’s a really good thing-

Sam Craft: Yeah, for sure.

Katie Hepfer: … if you can find a program like that in town.

Sam Craft: Sure.

Katie Hepfer: The American Academy of Pediatrics they’ve been back and forth about, there’s been a lot of changes about their recommendation for swimming lessons. It used to be ages four and older. The thinking was maybe that until you’re that age you can’t really learn how to swim. Beyond that, if a child is younger taking swim, the thinking was that it might give parents, guardians, a false sense of security like, “Oh, my kid has taken swim lessons.”

Sam Craft: Oh, 100 percent. Yeah.

Katie Hepfer: “They know what they’re doing.” We found that the data kind of showed that well actually any age of swim lessons is beneficial. It can help prevent drowning. Now, we never want a false sense of security no matter what. There should never be a sense of security when it comes to water.

Sam Craft: Well, no, that’s why grown people drown all the time in lakes. They think that they go out there, “Oh, he’s a strong swimmer,” and he tried to swim across the lake. You get out there halfway and you don’t realize how far you are.

Katie Hepfer: And how exhausting it can be.

Sam Craft: Yeah. Maybe you get a cramp or you just give out. You just go under.

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Mary Leigh Meyer: People should try and teach their kids to swim even if they’re not around that much water because like you said it can just… It happens when you’re not thinking about it.

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Sam Craft: In the bathtub, I mean turn over.

Katie Hepfer: Bathtub or at a neighbor’s house.

Sam Craft: Someone that little.

Katie Hepfer: And they might have a pool. It’s those times when we’re not as vigilant about watching our kids. I was playing with my toddler at our neighbor’s house. They have a pool. We don’t. I talked to my daughter who is two and a half all the time about, “You never go in water without mommy. You never do this.” But she’s still a toddler. She’s still impulsive. We were playing in the driveway, and I turned around for a second to talk to my neighbor, and she had gone around the back to grab a toy with the six year old, and the pool is back there. I had this moment where I’m like, “She could’ve just run into the pool,” and I ran after her.

Katie Hepfer: I guess what I’m saying is no one is immune. I’m a nurse practitioner. This is what I do and talk about all the time. I still find myself in those moments like those scary moments where that could’ve been us.

Mary Leigh Meyer: What about the rumor about you have to wait four hours after you eat or you’ll cramp? Is that… Is there-

Sam Craft: Four hours? I thought it was 15 minutes.

Katie Hepfer: This is something I feel like all of our parents told us.

Sam Craft: Yes, they all did.

Katie Hepfer: They instilled this fear like, “Oh, you ate a bowl of cereal. You cannot go swimming.”

Sam Craft: Nope.

Katie Hepfer: I don’t know if there’s anything medical behind that. I think it’s just important to give our kids breaks so that they’re not getting tired and so that the risk of drowning goes down. I don’t actually think there’s anything physiological to that. I think it’s just a way for people to take a break, which is a good thing. Put on sunscreen, digest a little bit, go to the bathroom.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Let’s chat a little bit about dry drowning since we’re talking about water safety and everything in that area.

Katie Hepfer: Dry drowning is something that’s been kind of in the news again, in the media lately, something we’ve heard about last summer, the scary notion that your kid could be swimming, they go underwater, they might’ve taken on more water than we realize, and later that day parents have reported finding their children dead, not waking up from a nap. I guess there’s some misconceptions behind dry drowning that maybe I want to mention. For one, it’s not this thing where something has happened in a pool, your child has been underwater, they’ve shown no signs of any medical harm, and then all of a sudden something happens to them.

Katie Hepfer: What really dry drowning is just that…a long-lasting effect from taking on too much water. A child will always show signs of nearly drowning. They’ll have some coughing, some lung damage, maybe they’ve been taken to the hospital. I guess what I want parents to know is they don’t need to be scared about their children going underwater, they don’t need to be scared about them swimming, looking to be totally fine and then something happening. What we see with dry drowning isn’t what has been portrayed in the news. A child will have been harmed in some way, and what dry drowning is just lasting inflammation in the lungs from near drowning I guess.

Sam Craft: The news makes it sound like they were fine one minute, and they were gone the next.

Katie Hepfer: Exactly.

Sam Craft: It’s like you’ll see something. There’s some symptoms of something.

Katie Hepfer: You’ll see something. Your child should nearly drown. Maybe they needed CPR. Maybe they needed to be rescued.

Sam Craft: So there’s still an incident?

Katie Hepfer: There was an incident.

Sam Craft: Yeah.

Katie Hepfer: A specific incident that occurred, and it was a close call. What it’s just trying to portray is that, yes, drowning in the moment can be severe. If they’ve nearly drowned, it still needs to be brought to medical attention. A child should still seek emergency medical care to make sure that there hasn’t been too much water into the lungs, too much inflammation in the lungs from that. It’s not something that your kid will be acting fine and then later…

Sam Craft: They make it sound like SIDS where it’s just this random thing that just out of the blue happens.

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Sam Craft: It’s not. It’s not like that it sounds like.

Katie Hepfer: No. It’s not like that. People have been scared to have their children go underwater because of it. I think that’s where it has been a little bit confusing in the media.

Sam Craft: Yeah, but that helps a lot.

Mary Leigh Meyer: You would think if your child almost drowned you would call some sort of health care provider and there would be some sort of proactive discussion.

Katie Hepfer: Right.

Sam Craft: At that point you would hope the EMTs that were there. If you almost drowned, there probably emergency medical personnel that will show up.

Katie Hepfer: I think that’s the important part. Just because a child survived a near drowning incident doesn’t mean that they’re in the clear. There’s a few hours later where it could still be critical and so a child should seek-

Sam Craft: Well, in the healthcare world, does that become more of a thing with you all being more, “Hey, this just happened. We really need to do some more tests”? Or whatever. You think that’s become more of a thing?

Katie Hepfer: Probably. Some more investigation into when is that critical period? When are you in the clear after a near drowning episode? I keep saying children, but I do want to stress that there are many adults out there who don’t know how to swim or who do know how to swim and still find themselves in these near drowning type situations. It goes for everyone.

Sam Craft: It’s not just kids that should be worried about dry drowning. Adults, same thing.

Katie Hepfer: Right. We know that taking on too much water, not getting air, that sort of thing is harmful to anyone. There are a few hours, even if you survive the incident, there is some time afterwards where you could have some lasting effects and getting that checked out.

Sam Craft: What about hydration on hot days and being out in the heat and being mindful of what you’re absorbing in the sun and what you’re taking in and sweating out? I think dehydration is a huge thing, a lot of people don’t realize that they experience.

Katie Hepfer: Right. Yeah. It’s definitely something especially in our area with the heat, especially playing in water. Sometimes we don’t realize how hot we are because our body temperature feels like it’s staying cool.

Mary Leigh Meyer: And we don’t feel ourselves sweating.

Katie Hepfer: Right. We don’t feel ourselves sweating. Staying hydrated is so important. Kids don’t think to drink. They’re out playing-

Sam Craft: Yeah. They just never think about it.

Katie Hepfer: They never think about it.

Mary Leigh Meyer: What are some signs that you can see that your child is getting dehydrated? Their cheeks start to flush…what should parents be on the lookout for?

Katie Hepfer: Yeah. Cheeks flushing. Just that panting sort of open mouth. They’re just looking a little tired. For older kids it’s easier for them to say that they don’t feel good. Sometimes they’ll start with a cramp, a stomachache, feeling a little dizzy or a little woozy. I’ve even seen athletes just seem disoriented almost. That means we’re getting to the point of concern that they need to step out, get to a shady area, remove layers of clothing, hydrate, cool packs, whatever you need to do to bring the body temperature down.

Mary Leigh Meyer: People can pass out. Don’t some people throw up if they get too hot?

Katie Hepfer: Right. Yeah, some people have like a visceral type stomach, abdominal response to heat. Again, that’s the point where we’re at a point of concern where it can be severe.

Sam Craft: What about heat stroke? Since we’re kind of in that area of things. What are the symptoms of heat stroke or just getting too hot?

Katie Hepfer: Yeah. With heat, there’s sort of a varying degree. We have heat exhaustion, heat illness you might hear. Being overheated is probably the first step. We’ve all been there. Heat exhaustion is a little different. Heat stroke is the most… That’s the point of severity.

Sam Craft: So serious.

Katie Hepfer: Yeah. That’s a serious medical concern where your body temperature is so high that we’re having potentially organ damage and orientation where you’re passing out.

Sam Craft: The first two would probably be more of everyday kind of thing.

Katie Hepfer: Yeah. The goal is to stop it once you’re feeling overheated so that you don’t get to the point of a heat stroke, which is your blood pressure-

Sam Craft: Is that just being hot and sweaty or is it-

Katie Hepfer: Yeah.

Sam Craft: You get dizzy and that kind of stuff? Is it all the same kind of things?

Katie Hepfer: All the same. Yes. I always tell people if they are feeling dizzy, if having a hard time focusing, concentrating, then that’s when you need to back off.

Sam Craft: Just take a break?

Katie Hepfer: Yeah.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah. I don’t think I realized that there was a difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. I feel like I used them interchangeably.

Katie Hepfer: A lot of times we do because it’s a fine line. It can progress so quickly especially in younger kids when their body surface area is smaller. Yeah, it’s all related, all concerning. Athletes are something you hear about a lot in the news. Football players because they’re out in the heat at that time of year and they’re wearing a lot of clothes, and so they’re not sweating and emitting that heat the way people are when they’re out in a tank top. That’s when you hear about players going down or even dying.

Sam Craft: It feels like it’s been one or two a year for the last 10 years. It’s terrifying.

Katie Hepfer: It is terrifying.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah, and when I was in sports there was almost somewhat of a stigma about taking a water break when the team wasn’t taking a water break.

Sam Craft: For sure.

Mary Leigh Meyer: It was kind of horrid to be like, “No, I need to stop. I can’t continue,” and take a little water break.

Sam Craft: Mine was always, “Are you hurt or are you injured?” Our water breaks consisted of a PVC pipe with holes drilled into it. Where we’ve come 20 years ago to full circle to today and how people are so much more I guess just knowledgeable about your bodies and what heat does and how important it is to keep hydrated I think schools have gone a long way to preventing that kind of stuff.

Mary Leigh Meyer: I feel like stories like that are making people more aware and making coaches and teachers and even peers, different students.

Sam Craft: Yeah. A kind being thirsty really just might not be him being a slacker, he really might need medical help.

Katie Hepfer: Right. I hope that the perception is changing and that there have been some changes about that, about keeping athletes hydrated. I tell a lot of my intense athletes eat a banana before practice. Banana has everything you kind of need. It’s not so much just the hydration, it’s having enough calories and so you’re keeping your blood sugar up. That’s important as well. It’s all related.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It’s also related where I’m glad we can do these types of shows. I’m glad you’re able to come over today.

Katie Hepfer: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Mary Leigh Meyer: Yeah, it’s been fun. Thank you.

Katie Hepfer: Happy summer!

Mary Leigh Meyer: Thank everyone for listening. This has been another episode of Sounds Like Health.