Summer is finally here! With warmer temperatures and blue sunny skies, we spend much more time outside. While enjoying this time of year, it is important to prioritize safety for yourself and your family. Whether you’re headed to the beach, traveling to the mountains or just celebrating in your own backyard, here are a few dos and don’ts of summertime safety to keep in mind all summer long.
- Stay Hydrated – Drinking plenty of ice cold water is crucial for dealing with the summertime heat. Sweating is a way for the body to cool down its temperature in order to maintain homeostasis, or a regulated state, so it is important to replenish the liquids your body is sweating out.
- Dress for the Weather – Clothes play an important role in maintaining a proper body temperature and can determine how hot or cool your body gets. Try wearing loose, breathable clothing and footwear that will not cause your body to overheat.
- Swim Safely – While many fun memories can be made during a day at the pool or at the beach, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Don’t overestimate the swimming abilities of children or adults, and always avoid swimming alone. Be sure children know how to swim, or are equipped with a proper lifejacket or flotation device. If swimming in the ocean, pay attention to currents and stay close to the shore.
- Wear Sunscreen – Sunscreen is crucial for avoiding the harmful effects of prolonged sun exposure and painful sunburns. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before outdoor activities and reapplied every two hours. You should also reapply sunscreen after exiting the pool or if you are excessively sweating.
- Find Shade – While it may feel nice to be out in the sun, prolonged sun exposure can be dangerous to your skin and may cause you to overheat. When outside, seek a shady place to relax – especially during the hours of 10am and 4pm.
- Use Insect Repellent – Besides being itchy and annoying, bug bites have the potential to be dangerous. Mosquitos and ticks can spread diseases such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease. Use insect repellent, remove standing water in your yard, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs and use mosquito netting to avoid bug bites.
- Play Safely – If you or your children are spending your free time biking, skateboarding or roller skating, be sure to wear a helmet and any other necessary padding. If you’re going to use a trampoline, make sure to use it one at a time and jump safely. While playing catch or other games, keep a safe distance from others and keep your eye on the ball.
- Leave Unattended Grills or Campfires – Don’t leave grills and campfires unattended. Always supervise open flames and ensure they are fully extinguished before leaving the area.
- Forget the Importance of Food Safety – Prevent foodborne illnesses by keeping perishable foods refrigerated, avoiding cross-contamination and practicing good hygiene while handling and preparing food.
- Be Irresponsible with Fireworks – Fireworks are a staple during summer months, and while they can bring a lot of enjoyment and family fun, they can also be very dangerous if not handled properly. If you are planning to celebrate with fireworks, make sure to buy proper fireworks, light them safely, keep them away from children and dispose of them correctly. To learn more about firework safety, read our Firework Safety blog.
- Ever Leave Children or Dogs in a Car – Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can become dangerously hot within minutes. Never leave children or dogs unattended in a car.
- Ignore the Signs of Heat-Related Illness – If you or someone else experiences symptoms like dizziness, nausea, confusion or rapid heartbeat, seek shade and medical assistance immediately.
While you and your family enjoy your summer, be sure to keep these Dos and Don’ts in mind to keep your family safe. If an accident does occur, visit Southwoods Express Care for your non-emergent medical needs. With three convenient locations in Boardman, Campbell and Columbiana, Express Care is open 7 days a week to provide you with quality care when you need it.