Six Ways to Ruin Your Summer Fun!Posted on by
Ahhh, summer… when the weather’s nice, the birds are singing and the ways to endanger your health are many. Here are six things that can ruin your summer fun and simple steps that you can take to prevent them from happening.
1. Don’t Get Overheated
It doesn’t matter whether you’re physically fit or young and healthy. Heat-related illnesses can impact you. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Here are some ways to avoid overheating.
- Know how to #BeatTheHeat if the power goes out: Go to a movie, a museum, a cooling center, or other public place if you do NOT have AC at home. Air conditioning is the #1 protective factor against heat-related illness and death.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes.
- Cut down on exercise when it’s hot outside.
2. Don’t Swim Carelessly
Just because you’re a strong swimmer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t refresh your memory on basic water safety. Follow the tips below to stay safe in the water.
- Learn to Swim. Formal swimming lessons can help protect young children from drowning.
- Don’t be distracted. Keep your eyes on kids who are in the water. Drownings are a leading cause of injury and death for children ages 1-14.
- Install a four-sided pool fence that completely separates the pool area from the house and yard. The fence should be at least 4 feet high.
- Teach little ones the H2O Smarts about water safety.
- Always swim with a buddy and select swimming sites that have lifeguards when possible.
3. Don’t Let the Bugs Bite
Spending time outdoors can bring you in close contact with mosquitoes and ticks. Mosquitoes and ticks are hungry, and they like to bite people. Protect yourself from mosquito and tick-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
- If you find a tick, don’t panic and avoid folklore remedies, such as “painting” the tick with nail polish. Instead, use fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and clothing treated with permethrin.
- Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellent. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
4. Don’t Eat Bad BBQ
An estimated 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year. Rates of infection increase in summer months. Take these simple steps to leave your next BBQ with leftovers; not foodborne illness.
- Separate raw and cooked food to avoid cross-contamination
- Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat.
- Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill
5. Don’t Pick Poisonous Plants
Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac can be found from coast to coast. Exposure to these unpleasant plants can fill your life with itchy despair and unsightly rashes. Follow the tips below to prevent this from happening.
- Leaves of three? Let it be! Learn helpful hints to identify poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
- Rashes can develop from direct contact or indirect contact (e.g., touching tools, clothing, or animals that had contact) with poisonous plants. Burning poisonous plants can be dangerous because allergens can be inhaled, causing lung irritation. Learn more about types of exposures.
- Know what the symptoms of exposure are and learn how to treat exposed skin.
- For those that may be exposed while at work, check out these prevention recommendations.
6. Don’t Go without Sunscreen
It can take as little as fifteen minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet rays to damage your beautiful skin. But that doesn’t have to get in the way of your summer fun! The tips below can help you enjoy your time outdoors safely without getting sunburned or increasing your skin cancer risk.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 on all exposed skin and reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday (roughly 10 AM to 4 PM) when the sun is most intense.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing to shield skin.
Summer is supposed to be fun! Don’t let a lack of basic preparedness ruin it. Stay cool. Swim safely. Use insect repellent and sunscreen. Prepare and grill food safely. Recognize and avoid poisonous plants. Have a safe and happy summer!
Thanks in advance for your questions and comments on this Public Health Matters post. Please note that the CDC does not give personal medical advice. If you are concerned you have a disease or condition, talk to your doctor.
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