New Englanders have the luxury of experiencing the four seasons- fall, winter, spring and last but not least—summer—arguably the most favored of the bunch. While our summer may look a bit different this year with having to navigate a pandemic, if you're planning a trip to the beach, hosting a small (and socially distanced!) poolside barbecue or packing up your family for a trip, it's important to keep safety in mind.
Save Your Skin
Apply sunscreen with a skin protectant factor (SPF) of at least 30 every two hours and more frequently after swimming and sweating. Those who are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or chronic sun exposure are at higher risk for skin cancer and should take extra precaution. A combination of sunscreen, shade, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses is the best bet in preventing exposure.
When grooming the yard for backyard barbecues, always remove stones, toys and any other object before mowing the lawn as this will prevent injury from flying objects. Wear protective gear when trimming hedges, cutting wood or tackling any other do-it-yourself project. When firing up the grill, make sure the grill tray is free and clear from grease to limit the ability for it to catch fire. If using a fire pit to roast marshmallows for a summertime s'more, be cautious of the increased risk of burns from an open flame and keep children and pets out of the area. Have water on hand to put out flames and never leave a fire unattended.
Hot Hot Hot!
Summer increases the risk for heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps and heat rash. As the days get hotter, remember to drink plenty of fluids and engage in outdoor activities wisely.
Increasing your time outdoors requires you to be aware of what poisonous plants look like. If you come in contact with them, rinse with alcohol or soap and water immediately. To keep mosquitoes and other annoying insects away wear layers and utilize an insect repellent.
Water, Water Everywhere
Between pools, lakes, rivers and oceans the bodies of water available to cool off in are plentiful, which means the dangers of swimming are just as rampant. The CDC reports an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings annually in the United States equating to about 10 deaths per day making water safety paramount in prevention. For those that own pools, make sure the pool is fenced in and protected by a safety gate that prevents children from entering alone. Do not consume alcohol when swimming or supervising swimmers. Take caution when diving and be aware of rip tides and current when in open bodies of water. Drowning happens quickly and is often silent. In an effort to be proactive, enroll yourself and your family in swim lessons to learn basic swimming skills.