For many, safety isn’t the first word when they think of summer. It’s more like kids running around, friends gathering by the barbecue for dinner, family playing in the pool are all familiar sounds of summer. But, to make sure you and your family enjoy everything summer has to offer safety must come first. Here are some great reminders to keep you safe!
Eat right. Hydrate. Stay cool.
Summer in the desert can reach temperatures up to 115 degrees. Stay indoors as much as possible. If you’re going outside, wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothes. Eat right by planning well-balanced, light meals; and avoid strenuous work during extreme heat. Additionally, stay hydrated! A quart of water an hour can be lost from sweating by simply sitting in the sun. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day, whether thirsty or not. An additional two to four glasses of water per hour and sports drinks are favored during periods of physical activity or exertion. Remember tea, coffee, soda and alcohol can lead to dehydration.
Be water wise.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of all unintentional injury deaths in children aged one to 14 years and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for all ages. The statistics are startling, but following some simple rules can protect you and your loved ones. Remember to swim under lifeguard supervision, obey all the rules at your community pool, and swim only in designated areas if you’re at a lake, river or the beach. Always swim with a partner, every time — whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool, a lake or the ocean. Even the most experienced swimmer may tire or get a muscle cramp, making it difficult to swim to safety.
Protect the skin your in!
Protect your skin from burning this summer. Limit sun exposure during peak times (generally 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), wear sunglasses, a hat (preferably broad-brimmed), use a multi-spectrum sunscreen with both UVB and UVA protection and apply it at least 20 to 30 minutes before you go outside. Reapply every two hours. If you do have sunburn, the National Institutes of Health recommend:
- Taking a cool shower or bath or placing wet, cold wash rags on the burn
- Avoiding products that contain benzocaine, lidocaine, or petroleum (like Vaseline)
- Using dry bandages if blisters are present as they may help prevent infection
- Applying moisturizing cream or aloe to relieve discomfort if your skin is not blistering
- Taking over-the-counter medications (ibuprofen) to help relieve pain from sunburn (Do not give aspirin to children)
Throw the football, but don’t throw out your back.
While football might be fun, back pain isn’t. Before you begin an exercise program to enjoy swimsuit season, make an appointment with your doctor. Uncontrolled diabetes, heart conditions or kidney problems can lead to water imbalances and heat-related illnesses. Start slowly to avoid overuse injuries and be sure to drink lots of water. Additionally, higher body mass limits a person’s ability to deal with heat stress. Losing even a few pounds will improve one’s capacity to stay cool during high temperatures.