Jun. 29, 2015
The season between spring and fall is usually associated with a break from the everyday stressors of life, but even summer isn’t completely carefree. It’s important to take precautions to help prevent injury and keep everyone safe.
Protecting the soft armor on your body is serious business during the summer season. Whether you’re lounging poolside or seaside, it’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Skin left unprotected can lead to minor or major sunburns or even skin cancer in the long run. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every couple of hours or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
Hydration is very important during the summer because as temperatures rise, so does outdoor activity, which can lead to dehydration. It’s important to drink enough water to prevent thirst. By the time you experience thirst, you are already dehydrated.
You can also monitor fluid loss through your urine, which should be clear to light yellow. Water is the best choice for staying hydrated during activity that lasts an hour or less. For longer durations, supplement water with sports drinks containing electrolytes.
Pools are popular summer hangouts for all ages, but they pose inherent risks for youth and adults. A few basic safety measures can prevent tragedy. You should only swim in pools where a lifeguard is stationed, and you should never swim alone, no matter how old you are. It’s also vital that all family members from youngest to oldest know how to swim.
Beach and pool safety measures overlap, but swimming in the ocean poses additional risks. It’s usually easy to know how deep pool water is because it’s either indicated or the depth is visible, but in the ocean, swimmers could encounter unexpected drop-offs or a greater depth than perceived at the surface. If you are unsure about water depth, never dive headfirst, but always go feetfirst. While pool water is generally still, ocean waves can unexpectedly pull under swimmers and waders, leading to injury or even death.
In 2012, grills were the cause of 16,900 trips to the emergency room. Here are several simple tips to help prevent grill-related injuries:
• Use propane and charcoal grills outdoors only
• Position grill away from your home and deck
• Keep children and pets at least three feet away from grill
• Remain next to grill at all times while cooking
These easy measures can reduce the chances that you or your family member will end up visiting the ER this summer.
Health care professionals are called on every summer to address injuries and medical conditions that are mostly preventable. With a healthy respect for the potential for seasonal dangers, summer can remain a retreat from – and not a cause of – daily stress.
If you want to learn more about summer safety, visit the resources below. If you aspire to care for those who are affected by a summertime injury, discover your place in health care at Concorde!