Summer is full of fun, good company, nice weather and lots of new adventures. While summer is one of the best times of year for most of us, it is important to be cautious about summer accidents and illnesses that are more common than we realize. Summer presents challenges such as sunburn, dehydration, open flame burns, outdoor-related injuries, and food poisoning. Read on to learn how to avoid summer injuries and illness.
Protecting Yourself From Harmful Rays
While it is common knowledge to most that wearing sunscreen this summer will prevent any harmful burns and exposure to powerful UV rays, studies show that only about 43 percent of Americans wear sunscreen. This puts those not using sunscreen at a high risk for a serious sunburn, and increases their risk of skin cancer.
It is important to wear your sunscreen correctly. Make sure that SPF 30 or higher is being used. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Sunscreen is not the only way to prevent burns. Wearing hats, sunglasses, and clothing items such as a t-shirt or a cover-up work well in adding an extra layer of protection to the skin. Read Sun Safety: Loving the Summer Sun without Getting Burned for more tips.
Burns and Open Flame Events
Sunburns are not the only burns to be wary of this summer. Burns due to outdoor activities such as open flames at campfires or barbecues can be equally as dangerous.
Items used throughout summer, such as flammable liquids and fireworks, are a major risk for injury when misused. The American Fire Association states that an estimated 10 deaths and 100 injuries are caused a year by open flames from barbecues and grills. Open fire pits at campfires and parties result in a close estimated 122 injuries per year. A large 54 percent of injuries from fireworks resulted in severe burns.
It is important to be cautious when attending outdoor events this summer. Follow these guidelines to prevent possible injuries:
- Do not stand too close to open flames.
- Be aware of handling food and other items while grilling.
- Use of fireworks should be administered with proper handling.
For more information about staying protected during summer events. read Campfire Burns: What Every Parent Should Know
The hot summer heat makes us sweat, meaning we are likely to experience dehydration more. It is best not to wait until you are thirsty to hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration and exhaustion.
Juices that contain no added sugars also work well for staying hydrating as well as providing energy. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they eliminate hydration throughout the body. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to curb hunger and stay hydrated at the same time. Want to know more? Read How to Stay Hydrated This Summer And All Year Long
Being Prepared: What You Need to Know
When participating in some of your favorite summer activities, it is important wear appropriate attire. During water-related activities, a trained professional or lifeguard who knows CPR should always be present. While biking, always wear a helmet as well as when participating in water activities, wear a life jacket. Do not leave children unattended while swimming. Need more tips? Click the link to read more: How to Stay Safe While Enjoying the Outdoors.
Avoiding Food Poisoning
On a hot summer day, food should never be left out for more than an hour when it is above 90 degrees. Be careful of undercooked meat when serving your favorite burger, as it can cause severe sickness when not cooked properly. When food is left out for too long, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Be careful of cross contamination when using utensils that have come into contact with under cooked foods. To read more about the dangers of food poisoning, check out Planning a Barbecue or Picnic? Follow These Food Safety Tips.