Summer Safety Tips
It’s officially summer, which means your calendar is likely filled with cookouts, pool parties, beach days, and outdoor activities. And while there’s no doubt that summer is full of fun and being outdoors, it’s also a time to recognize the increased risk of health and safety emergencies associated with the warmer weather. No matter your age or health, emergencies can happen when you least expect it. We have some quick tips to help prevent injuries and illnesses while you’re enjoying fun in the sun.
Whether you’re boating on the lake or visiting a waterpark, it’s important to take precautions when you’re near water. Drownings are the leading cause of injury death in children ages 1 to 4, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “It’s not uncommon for emergency rooms to see an increase in water injuries or in some instances, near death or drowning cases in young children during the summer months” says Dr. Margaret Mueller, Emergency Care Physician at Sturdy Memorial Hospital. “Children should be supervised at all times when in or around water. Teaching them to swim at a young age is not only a good idea, but also a great activity to do together.”
There’s no better way to celebrate the summer and being outdoors than with a barbecue. But before you dip into all the delicious food, make sure you wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs and any cross contamination from raw meats you may be cooking. “Be sure to place any leftovers in the refrigerator to keep it cool,” says Dr. Mueller, “food spoils faster in the heat and you run the risk of food poisoning if it’s left out for more than an hour.”
When the weather gets hot, make sure you stay cool. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are common heat-related illnesses that can impact everyone, but especially young children and the elderly. To make sure you can enjoy the dog days of summer, find an air conditioned location, wear proper clothing, and stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
If you’re enjoying the weather outside, keep in mind the sun is the most damaging between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. “Sunburns are a common summertime injury,” says Mueller. “Symptoms include nausea, fever, blisters, and pain which can last several days. To prevent severe burns, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 several times throughout the day.”
If you should need medical attention, Sturdy has two conveniently located urgent care centers in Plainville and South Attleboro. For more immediate medical emergencies, dial 9-1-1 or visit Sturdy’s Emergency Care Center.