What are some summer safety tips?

Summer safety will depend on what region you live in, but a few good rules of thumb are sunscreen, hydration, and water safety. A good sunblock will not only prevent burns but also protect against sun cancer and preserve the cosmetic appearance of your skin. Staying well hydrated will prevent illnesses such as hypertermia and dehydration. Finally, with more water sports in the summer, it is always important to ensure water safety for all participants, especially nonswimmers and children.

Here are some summer safety tips. If you are planning to barbecue:

  • If you are using a propane gas grill, inspect your propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion.
  • Always light the match before turning on the propane gas.
  • Use your grill outdoors and far from any structures that may catch fire, such as patio covers, garbage cans or buildings.
  • Do not use lighter fluid, gasoline or other flammable liquid with your barbeque.
  • Never smoke cigarettes or use matches or lighters near the grill.
  • If you are using a charcoal grill, use water to make sure that coals are extinguished, and be careful never to dispose of briquettes that are still hot.
  • Avoid loose clothing—especially long sleeves—while grilling.
  • Parental supervision is essential—keep all children away from the grill.

Fireworks add festivity to a Fourth of July celebration, but a public fireworks display is safer and more dazzling than trying to do it yourself. Keep in mind that:

  • Fireworks and sparklers should be handled by trained professionals. Sparklers can get as hot as 1,200 degrees!
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from the fireworks display.
  • Remind children that if they find used fireworks or sparklers—do not touch!

When spending time outdoors this summer, you and your family should consider these burn prevention tips:

  • ALWAYS wear sunscreen to avoid serious and painful sunburns!
  • When playing in the sand or on playground surfaces, always wear shoes to avoid injuries and burns to the feet. Playground surfaces can reach temperatures of 180 degrees.
  • If caught in a lightning storm, seek shelter IMMEDIATELY.
  • If your car radiator overheats, do not remove the radiator cap until after the engine completely cools down.
Dr. Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing Specialist

At last it is picnic weather! You make sure you keep your beer on ice but what about the picnic basket? All those cold cuts, salads, and mayo for the kaiser rolls can turn deadly without chilling. Food poisoning can kill but most often you just feel like you are going to die! It can take days for the vomiting and diarrhea to stop, depending on what germs invaded your chicken caesar wrap while you were playing catch under the sun.

Here are safe food tips:

  1. Keep the food cooler cool at all times.
  2. Do not leave food out for more than 2 hours.
  3. Discard whatever food is not eaten within that two hours.
  4. Creamy foods and meats tend to spoil faster than raw veggies for example.
  5. For the BBQ, do not put cooked items back on the plate that held the raw meats. That goes for utensils as well.
Betty Long, RN, MHA
Nursing Specialist

Summer brings so many fun outdoor activities, alot of them in the sun and water. 

Summer rule #1: wear sunscreen. The skin reddening caused by overexposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation -- may seem like just a temporary irritation, but sunburns can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. Find shade or make it. Picnic under a tree or read under an umbrella. Try to plan your days around the sun if your schedule is flexible. Avoid going out at midday when the sun is directly overhead. And don’t forget your sunglasses.  They're not JUST a fashion accessory! They actually protect your eyes.

Summer rule #2: Swim with a buddy. It only takes seconds to drown. Never leave children unsupervised around water. Watch for potential dangers such as suction from pool drains, diving in shallow water or above ground pool ladders left in the down position.

Summer rule #3: Leave the fireworks to the professionals. Keep a safe distance from the action. Never attempt to relight a “dud” and don’t let children younger than age 12 handle sparklers.

Summer rule #4: Wear a helmet when bicycling and make sure your bike is in good working order.

Summer rule #5: Wear an insect repellent with DEET when hiking in wooded areas. Wear light colored clothing that limits the amount of exposed skin.

And finally,  

Summer rule #6: Alcohol and things with engines don’t mix. Boats, jet skis, motorcycles and cars need your full attention. Do not drink and get behind the wheel of anything!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.