Summer brings many fun activities for us to enjoy, such as swimming, barbecuing and gardening. But along with the sun and fun comes certain safety concerns. Here are some tips to stay safe this summer.
Hydration is important for all ages, but especially for small children and older adults. The summer heat and humid conditions make it easier to become dehydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Water and sports drinks hydrate you much better than sodas.
If you are going to be exposed to direct sunlight, take steps to prevent sunburn. Sunburn can be not only painful, but dangerous, as well. Take care to select the right sunscreen. Look for one that is waterproof and at least 15 SPF. If possible, apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure. Cover all areas that will be exposed, including the scalp and lips. Reapply the sunscreen every 2-3 hours or more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
Enjoying the water, whether in a pool or natural body of water, is a great way to relax in the heat of the summer. But caution should always be taken when doing so. Never leave a child unattended in the water, and stay alert when watching them. Use life jackets when on watercraft, and only use life jackets approved by the US Coast Guard. Also be sure to keep an eye on changing weather conditions, which can quickly make the water a hazardous place.
The summer also brings barbecue season. If you’re on grill duty, never leave your grill unattended. Use long-handled tools to minimize the chance of getting burned. Prevent foodborne illness by keeping your meats below 40°F until you’re ready to grill them. Cook to the recommended temperature, and after cooking, keep them above 140°F. When finished grilling, clean the grill to prevent fires and flare-ups.
While beautiful to watch, fireworks can also be very dangerous. Always read the directions and warning labels before attempting to light fireworks. Keep a bucket of water or a water hose close by to extinguish any accidental fires. And only use fireworks outdoors, with plenty of space around you.
Mark Prickett is the Chief Marketing Officer at Vibra Hospital of Amarillo and Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Amarillo. Mark was born and raised in Texas and joined the Vibra Healthcare team in 2016. He and his wife of 12 years, Erin, have a 9-year-old son named Stoney who keeps them on their toes. Mark enjoys traveling and anything that allows him to spend time with his family.