Summer is in full swing - sunshine, fireworks, backyard barbecues, campfires and dehydration! Follow our helpful tips so these five summer-related (and totally preventable) accidents and injuries don’t ruin your fun in the sun.
- Food poisoning
- Outdoor injuries
It is not just the young and the old who can be sidelined by dehydration! Anyone outside on hot days, even pets, runs the risk of having more water and fluids leave the body than enter it. That’s dehydration. So, be mindful that while you are splashing in the pool, or wakeboarding on the river, you are losing hydration – even if it doesn’t feel like it. And don’t wait until you feel thirsty to get a drink. Thirst is an early sign that dehydration has begun. Stay ahead of the game by frequently reaching for water or a non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated drink.
Open flames from the grill can lead to serious burns and send the ‘King of the Grill’ (or Queen) to the ER. Easy ways to not burn yourself while grilling include:
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a grill.
- Put those grilling tools to use! Use long-handled grilling tools to give your arms plenty of clearance from heat and flames.
- Grease can build up quickly. Make it a point to periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill.
- Do not add lighter fluid to an already lit fire -- the flames can flashback up into the container and explode.
- Only grill outdoors! If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces, such as garages or tents, grills can expose you to deadly amounts of carbon monoxide and set the place on fire.
Don’t be fooled by a summer glow. Sunburns can happen quickly, and the effects can be long term. To prevent blisters, scars, and perhaps future episodes of skin cancer, wear sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreen with SPF 30 on exposed skin and reapplying every two hours, or more frequently during water activities or excessive sweating. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to commonly missed areas, such as ears, back of neck, and feet! Wearing a hat and staying in the shade are also great ways to avoid a sunburn.
No one wants to spend a summer day recovering from food poisoning. Follow safe cooking and storing procedures to keep everyone healthy.
- Make sure the meat is cooked to the proper temperature by using a food thermometer. You can’t rely on the color or texture of meat to indicate doneness.
- Leafy greens, especially ones that are pre-cut, are more vulnerable to bacteria. Wash all produce then blot dry with a clean cloth or paper towel to get rid of potentially harmful bacteria.
- Raw meat and cooked meat need separate plates and utensils. Do not put cooked chicken on the same plate as the raw chicken. Make sure to wash any surfaces or cooking tools that came in contact with raw products before using them to hold or serve cooked food.
- Condiments are major culprits when it comes to food poisoning, especially mayonnaise. Avoid eating side dishes that contain mayonnaise, cheese, milk, etc. after they sit out in the hot sun all afternoon. Consume or refrigerate all food within one hour of cooking.
Be cautious of your surroundings, including people, when participating in outdoor activities.
- Wear appropriate attire and safety gear during activities such as bike riding, boating and hiking.
- Never leave children unsupervised in a pool area.
- Drain baby pools after each use to prevent drowning.
- Never re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.
We encourage you to enjoy your summer activities and create memories that last a lifetime. Stay safe by following our tips and don’t forget your sunscreen!