Summer is the prime time of the year to enjoy the outdoors and get your share of fresh air as well as vitamin D. So, following these summer safety tips may help keep a preventable accident from ruining your fun.
First and foremost, be prepared with a first-aid kit. Keeping a fully stocked first-aid kit can help provide immediate care for minor injuries, like scrapes and cuts.
“Illnesses and injuries are never planned, so being prepared can help you respond,” Hannah Fairchild, a trauma prevention educator at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center, shares. “However, preventing injuries by practicing good habits is the best way to stay safe and enjoy your summer!”
Here are some additional tips to help you avoid emergency room visits this summer.
Never leave your child unattended in the water and always supervise children when in or around water.
“When you are watching children, do not be distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading or talking to others,” Hannah advises. “But do have a phone nearby in case of an emergency.”
It is also important to teach your kids to swim. Not only are they a fun summer activity, but formal swimming lessons can also protect your child from drowning. Additionally, parents should also know CPR.
“Wear a properly fitted Coast Guard-approved life jacket when you and your loved ones are on or near open water, such as a pond, river or lake. Never operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” Hannah adds.
The sun is at its hottest between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Plus, ultraviolet (UV) rays exist in sunlight and are associated with almost all skin cancer diagnoses.
So, reduce your risk for developing skin cancer by applying a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapplied every two hours. You can also wear protective clothing, like wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses.
“Also, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – and keep in mind that thirst is actually a late sign of dehydration,” Hannah says.
Biking and sports safety
Wearing helmets and other appropriate safety equipment is critical when riding bikes, skateboards, rollerblades or anything of the sort. Helmets should not shift around on your head. They should also cover the forehead and the strap should fasten securely with two fingers inserted between the strap and chin.
Falls can lead to serious or life-threatening conditions. So, if you or a loved one do fall, a trip to the emergency room may be necessary. Injuries that require emergency care include head injuries, broken/deformed bones, difficulty breathing, severe burns or any condition requiring significant pain control or the use of IV fluids.
“During the summer, more people are out enjoying themselves, so motorists must be more alert,” Hannah shares. “We need to remember we share the road with pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists as well as young children in neighborhoods. Don’t let distracted driving lead to a tragedy.”
Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors, and the grill should be used well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. When you are finished grilling, let the coals cool completely before disposing them in a metal container.
“Also keep an eye on children and pets when you’re grilling, and keep them away from the heat as well as other flammable products,” Hannah shares. “And never leave the grill unattended. It only takes a moment for something to go wrong.”
Learn more about the emergency and urgent care services we provide at Mercy Health.