#YHSafetyTips - Summer Safety Part 1

Posted by Matt Bushey in #YHSafetyTips, Apr 26, 2017

Summer can be a great time for activities. However, if you do not take certain precautions, your activities could be cut short and it could even become harder to work with certain injuries from things you do outside. We are presenting a two-part blog post on actions you should take to be more safe this summer. In this post, we will cover sun safety, hydration including heat stroke, and insect safety.

Sun Safety

Exposure to the sun can be good and bad. Vitamin D is acquired when skin is exposed to the sun. However, too much sun can cause burns, skin cancer, and progressive blindness. Here are some guidelines follow in preventing damage to your skin and eyes as well as cancer.

  • - Shade: Find shade under an umbrella, tree, or shelter if you need relief from the sun.
  • - Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. Hats with a wide brim all the way around will shade your face, ears, and back of the neck to protect from UV rays. Dry, tightly woven, dark colored clothes offer the best protection. A lot of times this type of clothing can make you very hot. Shorts and a t-shirt can be worn with sunscreen (read the next sections on these items)
  • - Sunglasses: Protecting your eyes will prevent UV rays from affecting tender skin around your eyes. The risk of Cataracts is reduced as well, which is a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
  • - Sunscreen: Always use sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or more. The layer of protection blocks UV rays. Find a product that works for your skin and reapply it every two hours or after vigorous activities like swimming, volleyball, running, hiking, or playing sports.

To make this a summer of fun in the sun, follow the steps above to have a safe summer.

Hydration

Sunscreen and proper attire won't keep you from dehydration. It is extremely important to keep water in your body.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is when your body is dehydrated and overheated (104°F+) from overexertion. Before it onsets, the person might have cramps in the legs and will stop sweating. The onset symptoms include headache or nausea, acting confused, agitated, passing out, or having seizures. Heat stroke is the leading cause of death in the summertime.

If someone starts suffering from heat stroke, take care of them right away. To treat them, they should be placed in ice water, the next best thing is to move them to a shady area and fan them off while dumping whatever cold water you have on their entire body. It is important to drink plenty of water and fluids before, during, and after going outside in the summer.

Insect Safety

  • - Insects thrive in summer weather and many are dangerous as they can carry different viruses. Protect yourself this summer by using the following tips.
  • - Dry up any stagnant water or if you have a pond, add a feature such as a waterfall, fountain, or aerator. You can also add a mosquito insecticide that will kill existing larva and adults. Avoid using scented soaps or perfume if you plan on staying outdoors for long periods of time.
  • - Insects like bright colored clothing that look like flowers. Dress in light colored clothing, wear shoes, bathe every day, and avoid flowing plants. Insect repellents containing DEET can prevent insects from biting and transmitting viruses. Reapply insect repellent every 5 hours and wash it off of children when returning indoors.
  • - Carry epinephrine pens when you have allergies of any kind but specifically here, for stings from honeybees, yellow jackets, or stinging ants.

Always look down and around for insects, and never enter an area they are swarming.

If you missed last week's post on CPR Safety, click here.

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