6 Hot Tips for a Safer Summer
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, but a trip to the emergency room can quickly ruin summer fun. Visits to hospital emergency departments spike about 15 percent to 30 percent during the summer months, but these 6 tips can help you avoid the need to head to the ER.
Here’s how to stay safer this summer:
- Use protective gear. Wear helmets, padding, eyewear and other appropriate protective gear when riding bikes, rollerskating, skateboarding or participating in contact sports.
- Avoid overheating. Summer heat increases the chance of dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses (64 ounces) of water daily. If you’re exercising intensely in the heat, replenish with a sports drink that also contains electrolytes. On very hot days, stay indoors in air conditioning, wear lightweight loose-fitting clothing, drink lots of fluids and limit strenuous activities.
- Be careful near water. Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty before jumping in the water. When at the beach, pay attention to colored flags and know what the meaning of each color is. Never leave children unattended near water. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in children age 14 and younger.
- Watch out for insects and plants. Apply an insect repellent and dress in light-colored clothes that cover your body if you’re walking in grassy or wooded areas. Become familiar with the appearance of plants such as poison ivy, oak and sumac. If you do get a bite or rash, don’t scratch.
- Think food safety. Food that is left out in the sun and heat can make you sick. The hotter it is, the faster it spoils. Keep food well chilled and throw it out if it’s been sitting out too long.
- Use fireworks carefully. Thousands of people are treated in hospital emergency rooms as a result of fireworks each year. Even sparklers pose a danger, accounting for about 16 percent of reported fireworks injuries. When using fireworks, obey local fireworks laws, wear safety glasses, light only one at a time and keep a bucket of water nearby.
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Date Last Reviewed: April 12, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD