Monday, Jul 20, 2015
Crickets are chirping, kids are playing outside and grills around the state are being fired up.
Summer is in full swing, and it’s time to think about staying safe during these busy summer months. Here are five tips to stay safe while having fun in the sun:
Beat the Scorching Summer Rays
As the summer heat increases, so does your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Beat the heat by staying inside when the sun is at its peak— typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If your body has yet to acclimate to the heat be sure to take breaks and not push yourself too hard. In the meantime, stay hydrated and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine, as they can have dehydrating effects.
Don’t Feel the Burn
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. To properly protect your skin, apply a sunscreen with at least a SPF (sun protection factor) of 30, 20 to 30 minutes before you go outside. You should use at least an ounce, which is about two tablespoons or enough to fill a shot glass, to cover and protect your entire body. If you’re using a sunscreen spray, remember to apply liberally as windy conditions can keep some of the spray from reaching your skin. Don’t forget your lips. One of the most common places to find skin cancer is your lips, so make sure to also apply a lip balm with at least SPF 15 as well.
Make a Splash
Before you dive in, make sure you’re well-versed in water and wave safety. Kids should always have a swim buddy and should never be left unattended while swimming. Avoid standing bodies of water that have been heated by the sun. Warm, stagnant water carries bacteria that can cause sickness if swallowed.
Summer is the season for both kids and bugs to come out to play. Dodge painful and itchy bug bites by applying kid-safe bug spray and avoiding fragranced lotions and soaps that can make you extra attractive to insects. Ticks and other insects like to hide in grassy areas and wooded trails, so make sure to tuck your pants into your socks and do a tick check once you get home. If you do find a tick, carefully remove it and monitor your symptoms, as ticks can carry several diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease.
Brave the BBQ
Backyard cookouts and picnics are the most delicious parts of summer. Making sure they stay safe and tasty is easy with a few simple food-safety tips. Establish a safe zone around the grill by placing it in a well-ventilated open area that’s free of dry leaves and brush. Make sure everyone’s favorite potato and pasta salads, or anything containing mayonnaise, stays cool and refrigerated. Finally, keep food covered to prevent curious insects from coming around to take a bite of the food and of you.