Staying Safe in the SummertimePosted: July 8, 2019, 1:53PM
We made it past the wind, cold, snow and ice, and now have the opportunity to enjoy the warm days of summer. Of course, we have been dodging raindrops (7 out of the last 8 days according to Channel 9 WTOV) but we have still had ample time to get out and hike, walk the dog, go boating, cut the grass and enjoy any number of outside activities.
In order to continue enjoying summer, we need to keep some precautions in mind!
*Wear sunscreen! A sunburn not only hurts but increases your risk of melanoma. Apply sunscreen often, especially after going in the water.
* Use insect repellent. If you're hiking, wear long sleeves and make sure your pants are tucked in. Tick-borne diseases have really ramped up, and now there are new species of ticks that carry different diseases.
* Summertime stings can range from annoying to life-threatening. Avoid wearing perfumes or heavy floral scents, wear light-colored clothing without floral prints, and guard your sweet drinks. If you are stung and experience hives, have tightness in your chest, have trouble breathing, or feel dizzy - get to the Emergency Department. You may have an allergy to the sting. (3 in 100 adults have life-threatening allergies to insect stings acc/to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology) If you have a known allergy, keep an epinephrine auto-injector with you. Don't assume that this is enough, however. Go to the ER for observation or further treatment.
*Stay hydrated! You need to drink more water (preferably) especially in hot weather as we lose fluids when we perspire. Consider consuming about 8 - 8 ounce glasses of water a day. If you are taking diuretics, blood pressure meds, or other medications that affect body fluids, check with your physician.
* And speaking of medications - some medications are affected by sun exposure and some medications affect you when you are in the sun. Talk to your health care professional.
*Take care of your pets in the heat! Make sure they have shade and fresh water. Best case scenario, bring your pets inside when it's hot! Watch when you walk your pets. Their paws can be burned by the sun-heated pavement. Test the walkway with your hand. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your pet's paws!
*Check on older people during the heat. They may not process heat as well as younger people, and they may neglect drinking water becoming dehydrated.
*If you're boating, make sure EVERYONE has a flotation device....even your pets!
*Be cautious around lawn mowers. Whirring blades can cause serious injury to feet, toes and hands. Wear close-toed shoes when you cut the grass. If you need to remove a clog, make sure the mower is off and the blades have stopped turning.
*Picnics are a lot of fun....until the food is left out WAY too long! Make sure to keep cold / refreigerate anything that has mayonnaise, dairy or eggs as these items can develop bacteria when left unrefrigerated for only a few hours. Cook your food to the recommended temperature. Make sure to wash your hands and the area where food will be prepared.
Stay safe and exercise caution! Enjoy your summer!