Summer brings hot weather and outdoor activities, which raises safety concerns. Here are some summer safety tips, for people of all ages, to help you enjoy the summer.
- Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays when you are outdoors. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
- Infants under 6 months old should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Most manufacturers advise against using sunscreens on infants, or advise parents and caregivers to consult a doctor first.
Do not leave your child or pet in the car for a minute! Cars and trucks heat up rapidly even on milder days, no matter the time of year. The temperature inside a vehicle can rise by nearly 20 degrees in 10 minutes.
Older adults may be at a higher risk of heat-related conditions as they are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. As we grow older, our bodies become less efficient at regulating body temperature.
According to the National Safety Council, there are several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Heatstroke occurs when a person’s core body temperature rises to 104 degrees. Remember to drink plenty of water on hot and humid days. Know the warning signs of heat stroke. The first sign is cramping in the legs. If this happens, cool off and hydrate.
Whether in the pool, the hot tub, or water playground, we can all help protect ourselves and our loved ones by following some of these simple but effective steps.
- Shower before you get in the water. Rinsing off in the shower for just 1 minute helps get rid of any germs that might be on your body.
- Always swim with a partner.
- Never allow young children to swim without adult supervision.
- Don’t swim or let children swim when sick with diarrhea.
- Take children on bathroom breaks every hour. Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area, not poolside, to keep germs away from the pool.
- Never swim when you are tired, under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication.
The Center for Disease Control reports that drowning is a leading cause of unintentional injury or death among children 1–14 years old and three children die every day as a result of drowning.
Swimmers can prevent fatal and non-fatal drowning by learning swimming skills, wearing life vests and by swimming under the close supervision of parents, caregivers, or lifeguards who know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
A large part of summer for many is attending barbeques, fairs and festivals. Foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months, making it even more important to follow these food safety steps.
- Always wash your hands right after petting animals, touching the animal enclosure, and exiting animal areas, even if you did not touch an animal.
- Always wash your hands after using the restroom, after playing a game or going on a ride, before eating and drinking, before preparing food or drinks, after changing diapers, and after removing soiled clothes or shoes.
- Bring hand sanitizers or disposable wipes in case there are no places to wash your hands.
- Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill.
- Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry and seafood. Wash work surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking.
- Throw out marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat juices, which can spread germs to cooked foods. Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill.
- Put food in a freezer or refrigerator within two hours of cooking, one hour if above 90°F outside.
The summer months can bring pesky insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. With the proper protection, some bites can be avoided. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using insect repellents that contain at least 20% DEET because it is proven to repel both mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. Products with a DEET concentration of less than 30 percent are safe for children, but not for babies under 2 months old. Here are some tips to help prevent bug bites.
- Avoid using scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays as they can attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs.
- Avoid bug-friendly hours. Mosquitoes love dusk to dawn.
- After coming indoors,shower and check your body for ticks.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants.
With preparation and the right tools, the summer months can be a relaxing and safe time for you and your family. Below are links to additional information.