Use an insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes and ticks, especially when spending time near shrubs, bushes and other vegetation. Check for ticks when you’re in wooded areas. The best way to remove ticks is with tweezers.
If you are out in the sun for any length of time, you may want to consider wearing protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves and long pants in addition to using sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15. It’s also advisable to avoid the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., since this is when the sun’s rays are the most intense. If sunburn occurs, keep hydrated, stay in a cool place and take an anti-inflammatory medication, if needed. If you’re unsure whether or not you might benefit from taking an anti-inflammatory medicine, ask your doctor.
With summer picnics, it’s particularly important to make sure that foods such as potato salad are kept cold. Many homemade salad dressings, frostings and ice creams contain raw eggs and can quickly become unsafe for consumption in the hot summer sun. When grilling, make sure poultry and other meat is thoroughly cooked, with no pink in the middle. Promptly refrigerate leftovers.
Have a radio, TV or smartphone available for the latest weather reports. Educate yourself on the meaning of thunderstorms and tornado watches and warnings. Make sure your family is aware of where they should take cover, both in the house and while traveling or camping. Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher nearby. It is also a good idea for all the members of your family to know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water in your house.
Burns to the face and hands are common during fireworks season. Fireworks are illegal in some states, so be sure to check if they are allowed where you live or where you are traveling. Young children need to be supervised by adults if they are allowed to use or be near fireworks. Click here for more safety tips about fireworks.
Keeping these common safety tips in mind may keep your summer fun from being cut short. Now go enjoy some time at lake or the pool, but keep those life jackets handy!
By Kris Ponto, MSN, RN-BC, RAC-CT
Clinical Nurse Consultant