Summer Safety: Tips to have fun and stay healthy

Summer Safety: Tips to have fun and stay healthy
Grill (Source: Pixabay images)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As we head into the first full week of the official summer season, it’s important to remember some of the dangers summer can pose and how to avoid them.

The heat of summer can turn dangerous quickly. We've already seen record heat this year, and with the increase in the temperature, comes a higher threat of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion. So it’s important to recognize the warning signs.

Doctors recommend limiting outdoor activities to cooler parts of the day, and staying out of the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. And remember what you wear can make a difference. Light colors, loose fitting and light weight clothing will help keep you cool. If you feel weak, dizzy or out breath, it may be the first sign of heat stroke. It’s important to act fast if this happens.

“It's when your body loses its ability to control its core temperature// People can actually stop sweating so their skin doesn't feel wet but rather really hot and dry,” explained Dr. Holly Phillips. “Make sure to call 911 right away and get them out of the sun into either the shade or ideally air conditioning.”

Many of us associate this time of year with the grill or a picnic. The last thing we want is for those meal to make us sick! When you’re preparing to eat outside, make sure you’re washing your hands with soap and water, as well as keeping the grill and all surfaces clean. Don’t put raw meat next to anything else you’re preparing. Cook meat all the way through – 165 degrees for poultry, 160 for burgers. And Dr. Phillips recommends letting go of leftovers.

“When we sit food outside when it’s exposed to high temperatures or even when it’s just out for long periods of time inside the temperatures can basically create a petri dish for the proliferation of bacteria,” Phillips said. “If any foods have been un-refrigerated for more than two hours, Throw them out.”

We all want our kids to have fun over the summer stay healthy at the same time. If your kids are headed to camp, it's a good idea to make a little "pre-camp" checklist. At the top of that list should be a doctor's visit, at the very least to make sure everyone is up to date on shots. Also, make sure the camp is prepared for common minor injuries. And make sure your camper knows how to avoid painful bites and stings.

“You’re more likely to get stung if you swat at bees. So to the degree that you can just let them fly around hold still and hopefully they’ll leave you alone,” said Dr. Phillips. And remember, not all camps have nurses on staff, so ask in advance about the policy for handling medical emergencies.

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