6 essential summer health tips
Summertime is many people’s favorite time of year. School is out, the days are long, the nights are warm and it’s a great time to get together with loved ones. Here are six simple summer health tips to keep your summer days safe and pleasant.
1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
The sun’s golden rays are what give summer its warmth and fun, but those same rays can result in sunburn, dehydration and over the long-haul, skin cancers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., so take their advice and protect yourself and your children. Their sun safety tips include wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunburn, seeking shade, applying sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and wearing protective clothing.
2. Enjoy the fruits and veggies of summer
Summer is a great time for fresh seasonal produce. Berries, melon, corn, tomatoes and peppers are all at their best during the warmer months. Take advantage of the great food that Mother Nature has to offer and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. The Department of Agriculture publishes a Seasonal Produce Guide to help you pick healthy foods at their peak.
3. Swim safety
Lakes, ponds and swimming pools are enticing ways to spend a hot summer afternoon. So swimming safely is absolutely essential for you and your family. A drowning can happen in what seems like an instant, so always designate a responsible adult to watch children around water. The CDC recommended securing your home pool with a complete fence, teaching your children to swim and learning CPR in the event of an accident.
Younger children especially are at risk around water. According to Kidshealth.org, a child can drown in only two inches of water. Hazards can include the bathtub, buckets, coolers, drainage ditches, inflatable pools, fountains and even toilets. Watch them closely and limit their access to open water. Additionally, if you’re enjoying a summer boat ride, make sure each person has a Coast Guard-approved life jacket and is following all safety rules.
4. Enjoy alcohol responsibly
Summer heat and excessive alcohol consumption aren’t a good combination. The effects of alcohol are intensified, resulting in dehydration. Also, alcohol has played a part in many accidents, and in 70 percent of adult and adolescent drownings, according to the CDC. Alcohol and water recreation should never go together, as it inhibits judgment, coordination and balance.
5. Fire safety
Whether it be from grilling, toasting marshmallows over a campfire or Fourth of July fireworks, summer provides plenty of opportunities for exposure to fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) explained that, on average, 230 people per day reported to the emergency room with injuries from fireworks in 2014, with nine fatalities. Don’t allow children around any kind of fire without attentive adult supervision, and don’t let them light fireworks. Supervise them closely around sparklers, which can reach a temperature of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep a bucket of water nearby, and make sure the fireworks are completely extinguished. Also, don’t try to relight fireworks that didn’t completely burn.
6. Don’t let bugs bug you
Nothing ruins a dusky summer evening like a cloud of mosquitos and the resulting itchy bites. The CDC recommended using insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 to effectively repel mosquitos.
Additionally, check yourself and your children for ticks after coming in from a day outdoors, and clear vegetation away from play areas or apply tick control spray to prevent bites.
Summer is just a few blissful months out of the year, so make it a memorable, safe and relaxing time of the year for you and your family by following these summer health tips.
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