Summer Safety Tips and First Aid

June 8, 2018

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities --but it can also bring minor injuries. Keep the whole family safe and healthy while enjoying the summer fun. Watch out for common summer problems:

Heat Stroke

Don’t overdo it on a hot, sunny day! When you have heat stroke, your body stops sweating, and can no longer cool itself.

  • Drink water at least every 20 minutes when being active outdoors.
  • Know the warning signs:
    • Leg cramps
    • Red, hot, dry skin
    • Rapid pulse
    • Headache or lightheadedness
    • Nausea

To relieve symptoms, put ice packs on the groin, armpits and neck where blood flows close to the surface.

Playground Safety

Playgrounds are a great place for the kids work off some energy. But they’re not always safe.

  • Check the equipment. Rotted or worn out woods and plastic can have sharp edges and points that could scrape or cause eye injuries.
  • Make sure the slides and other surfaces are cool enough to be comfortable. Even today’s newer materials can cause burns.

Treat minor burns from hot surfaces:

  • Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water, or apply a cool, wet compress.
  • Apply lotion such as one with aloe vera, or a moisturizer.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage.

Bug Bites

Scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays can attract bugs, so forego those in summer.

  • Use bug spray with 10% to 30% DEET for children older than 2 months, but don’t use it on infants.
  • Wash the area of an insect bite with soap and water.
  • Take an antihistamine to reduce itching.

Bad Plants

Hiking, camping or just time in the back yard can have painful results. Learn to recognize poison ivy and poison oak.

  • Symptoms appear 24 to 72 hours after exposure to plants.
  • Symptoms can also be caused by touching pets, garden tools, sports equipment, or other things that had direct contact with the plant.
  • Signs include:
    • Red streaks or patches, itching, rash, swelling, blisters that may leak fluid and later crust over, inflammation and a burning sensation
  • Treatment:
    • Wash the area well with mild soap and lukewarm water as soon as possible after contact. Try calamine lotion for the itching.

Sunburn

Don’t let a sunburn spoil your vacation--or lead to skin cancer.

  • Use a broad-spectrum (against UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and lip balm with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Limit time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest.
  • Cover up with clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  • Treatment:
    • Take a cool bath or shower.
    • Apply moisturizer like an aloe vera lotion or gel.

Read more about surviving summer.

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