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Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is synonymous with relaxation and fun in the sun. The easygoing nature of summer can make it easy to overlook safety concerns that run the gamut from heat-related illnesses to bug bites to water play injuries. Though no one wants to rain on their own summer parade, keeping these safety tips in mind can ensure the coming months are as safe as they are fun.

Safeguard against the threat of heat-related illnesses. Sizzling summer days pose a significant threat if the proper measures aren’t take to avoid heat-related illnesses. According to the National Safety Council, heat exhaustion, which occurs when the body loses excessive water and salt, and heat stroke, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes is marked by the body’s inability to control its temperature, can escalate rapidly. The NSC identifies individuals who work outdoors, infants and young children, people who are 65 and older, people who are ill, and people who are overweight as those most at risk of heat-related illnesses. Such illnesses are entirely preventable, and the CDC recommends remaining indoors in air conditioned rooms, drinking plenty of fluids but avoiding alcohol, wearing loose and lightweight clothing as well as a hat, and replacing salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks.

Apply sunscreen. Long days in the summer sun may be a great way to relax, but it’s imperative that individuals apply sunscreen before going outside and then reapply it throughout the day as necessary. Sunburn is not only unpleasant, it also increases a person’s risk for skin cancer and affects the body’s ability to cool itself, which can increase the risk for heat stroke.

Protect against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are more than a mere nuisance. Mosquitoes can carry an assortment of viruses, including Zika virus and West Nile virus. And though such viruses are often thought of as a problem for people in faraway lands, the NSC notes that the Aedes mosquito, which is a known transmitter of the Zika virus, has appeared in various regions of the globe, including the continental United States and popular vacation destinations like Mexico and Central and South America. The NSC recommends that everyone, and especially individuals who work outdoors, apply mosquito repellant before going outside and to continue to do so as necessary throughout the day. In addition, clothing treated with the insecticide permethrin may help to repel mosquitoes.

Exercise caution around water. The CDC reports that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of one and four. Though children might be most vulnerable to water-related accidents and death, adults also must exercise caution when around the water. The NSC recommends individuals avoid the water, be it in a lake, river, ocean, or pool, unless they know how to swim. Individuals also should never swim alone and only swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. When swimming at a private residence, children should never be allowed to swim unless an adult is supervising. Adults also should avoid alcohol when swimming.

Summer is a season to relax, but it’s also a season when safety should be a top priority for people of all ages.

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