Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, vacations and being outdoors. However, it is important to keep safety and common sense in mind to help make summer activities fun and enjoyable. Dr. Scott Wilson an Urgent Care physician at SIMED’s First Care provides summer safety tips to help you enjoy the summer season while staying safe and healthy.
- Never allow children to start a grill or be left alone while the grill is actively cooking.
- Store propane gas tanks in a cool, well ventilated area.
- Keep hands at a safe distance from the grill by using oven mitts and long handled cooking utensils.
- Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher near the grill in case of fire.
Sunburn and Skin Protection
- The best prevention methods for decreasing risk of sunburn and future skin cancer is to keep out of direct sunlight especially during the hottest times of the day which is generally between 10AM to 4PM.
- Use sunscreen on all children over 6 months and all adults. It is best to use sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher about 15-20 minutes before going into the sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen frequently for continued skin protection.
- The UV light from the sun can penetrate some types of clothing so it is recommended to also apply sunscreen under clothing as well as exposed skin areas, or wear clothing with UV protection.
- Eye protection from the sun is also important. Wear sunglasses and a wide brim hat to decrease sun exposure to the eyes and prevent future eye problems later in life.
- Do not use sunscreen on children under the age of 6 months. Infants should avoid direct sun light exposure due to the sensitivity of their skin.
Fun in the Water
- Teach children never to enter the water (pool, beach, pond, etc.) without an adult present.
- It is best to swim at beaches that have life guards present.
- Do not allow young children easy access or unsupervised access to the backyard pool or hot tub.
- Do not substitute swim floaties, pool noodles or inflatable toys for supervision of children in the water.
- Use life jackets at all times when on a boat or jet-ski.
Fun Outdoor Activities
- All children and adults should wear helmets when bicycling outdoors as well as following the rules of the road for safe bicycling.
- All children and adults should wear a helmet, and bilateral elbow/wrist/knee pads while skating, skateboarding or scootering.
- Supervise children when playing on all playground equipment and teach them safe play habits to prevent injuries to themselves and others.
Our Creepy, Crawly, Flying Enemies
- Wear shoes outside to minimize bee and insect stings on the feet.
- Use insect repellent sparingly on older children and immediately wash off when they come into the house.
- Check your body for any ticks after being outside especially wooded areas. Contact your medical provider about removing the tick and further medical advice.
- Never use insect repellent on infants.
Summer Lightning Storms
- Seek immediate shelter.
- Avoid using any electrical appliances or cell phones.
- If trapped outside:
- Crouch down low with your feet together; head tucked in and cover your ears.
- Avoid being near tall objects or trees.
- Discard any metal objects such as golf clubs, metal baseball bats, or fishing poles.
Too Much Heat, Get Out of the Sun
- When outdoors keep well hydrated with drinking water or electrolyte restoring drinks. (Gatorade, PowerAde)
- If you are sweating too much, this means it is time to get out of the sun or heat. Significant water and electrolytes are lost from sweating.
- Try to limit doing things in the hot sun to 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Take frequent breaks out of the sun such as in shaded areas or indoors with air conditioning.
- If you have any problems with muscle cramping this can be an early warning that you are becoming dehydrated. Get into a cool environment immediately and start rehydrating until the muscle cramp resolve.
- Two serious medical conditions can occur from prolonged heat exposure:
- Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headache, muscle cramping, rapid heart rate, nausea, and skin is pale, clammy and cold. Get out of the sun and heat immediately and go into a cool environment. Contact your medical provider, seek medical attention or call 911.
- Heat Stroke (emergency medical condition): Symptoms include red and hot skin no longer sweating, rapid heart rate, headache, confusion, delirium, severe muscle cramps, or vomiting. Get out of the sun and heat immediately and go into a cool environment. Seek medical attention or call 911 emergently.
Florida is known for its hot weather so be sure to follow these safety tips while out in the heat or sun. Here at SIMED we want to make sure our patients are educated in how to keep a healthy and safe lifestyle. If you need to schedule an appointment with us you can request one online or over the phone at (352) 224- 2200.