July is upon us, bringing the suntans, swimming, and outdoor activities with it. But with the summer season at its peak, so are the likelihood of summer activity-related injuries and illnesses. We have compiled a comprehensive list of summer season safety tips to help you stay safe and beat the heat!
As much fun as it is to soak up all those summer rays and enjoy the warmer weather, you should be cautious about spending too much time in the sun. Whether you have a labor-intensive job or simply prefer to partake in outdoor activities, it is important to acknowledge when it is time to take a break, have some water, and cool down in the air conditioning. You should take care to stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty, and to add in drinks with electrolytes like Gatorade into your day. Some signs to look for are cramping in the legs, nausea, lightheadedness, and heavy sweating. If you are actually having a heat stroke, your body will stop sweating and can no longer cool itself. If you are only experiencing the earlier symptoms, then taking a break and increasing your fluid intake should do the job. But if you are having a full-blown heatstroke, you need to seek medical attention.
Sunburn and Skin Cancer
While it has become more commonplace, many people still neglect using sunscreen. And even if they are sunscreen users, they usually do not apply sunscreen as frequently as is required to prevent UV damage. It’s important to note that daily sunscreen use should be a part of your routine no matter what season it is, but if you know you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, it is even more important to wear sunscreen and reapply as directed on the bottle. You should also pay attention to what other products you include in your skincare routine, as they may make you more susceptible to sun damage. Using products with ingredients like retinol, AHA and BHA exfoliating acids (salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, etc.) can all make your skin more likely to burn, causing sunspots and premature wrinkles. Unprotected exposure to UV rays can also have more serious consequences. Wearing sunscreen could save your life and stop you from getting skin cancer!
Everyone has heard that you should swim right after you eat. When you’re a child, it may seem like a grownup ploy to stop you from having fun. However, there is some truth to it! When you are digesting food, your body is using a large portion of your energy. This may not cause a problem when wading in 3ft water at the local pool, but swimming in the ocean or a lake with a strong undercurrent could be dangerous. It’s best to rest for a while after eating. If you are a parent with a young child, teaching them how to swim and other water safety skills is essential so that you never have to worry about a potential drowning incident. If your child does not know how to swim, having them wear life jackets is a good way to ensure that they are protected. If you are with someone that has drowned, the best thing to do is call 911, especially if you are in open water. The strong currents could potentially cause you to drown, too!
When summertime comes around, grills around the country are finally put to use again! And while no one could complain about a delicious Independence Day BBQ, there are a few common safety hazards associated with grilling. As with any time you are handling fire, you should take care not to burn yourself on the flames. Excessive smoke inhalation is also a danger of grilling. The fumes may smell delicious, but remember that it isn’t just coming from the food inside; that smoke also contains carbon monoxide and other cancer-causing chemicals.
If you like to spend time hiking, biking, or otherwise communing with nature, be on the lookout for ticks! Be sure to load up on bug spray before you go anywhere that you may come into contact with a tick. The odds of getting Lyme disease from a tick are 0-50%, so you can never be too careful.
Visit Village Emergency Centers
At Village Emergency Centers, we understand the different risks that summer brings around. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heat related illness or any other emergency, summer-related or otherwise, be sure to come in and visit one of our locations in the Greater Houston area. We are full-service 24/7 emergency rooms with affordable, transparent billing and little to no wait. If you want to learn how to beat the heat or more about summer season safety tips, contact us today!