Hi, I’m Sue Kramer, Infection Preventionist, Employee Health at Hudson Hospital & Clinic. Welcome to my blog!
Summer’s not over yet, which means plenty more time for fun in the sun. Be aware of these summer safety tips, so you can make the most of your summer fun.
Wearing sunscreen and limiting your exposure is the best thing you can do to protect your skin. Sun exposure on a cloudy day is only reduced by around 30 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation changes skin texture and can lead to skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC recommends the following for protecting against UV radiation:
- Stay in the shade if possible, particularly when the sun is at its strongest – usually around midday.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat that provides shade for your head, face, ears and neck.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses that protect against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Use sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 that protects against UVA and UVB radiation, and reapply every 2 hours (or immediately after swimming).
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Beat the heat
Most heat-related illnesses occur as sunburn, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Everyone is at risk of being affected, but infants and the elderly are the most susceptible. Heat exhaustion develops when a person spends time in the heat without an adequate intake of fluids.
- Water – To prevent heat exhaustion, make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Dr. Burnett stresses the importance of calling a doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms: muscle cramps, difficulty breathing, confusion, disorientation, dry hot skin, nausea or fainting.
- Shade – Every part of the body is at risk for sunburn, including ears, lips, scalp, and even eyes. Wearing hats and long sleeved, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing can help prevent sunburn. If you are planning on being outside when UV light is the strongest, try to stay in the shade as much as possible.
- SPF – Applying sunscreen can also protect the skin by blocking harmful UV rays. Look for a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB light and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. Be mindful that most conventional sunscreens block very little UVA and choosing a broad-spectrum sun block such as zinc oxide is much more effective.
Grilling safety tips
Grilling is ever-popular this time of year, so let’s review a few simple safety tips:
- Never pour lighter fluid or other flammables onto a lit grill.
- Use grill utensils to give you the extra reach and avoid burning.
- Dress properly, don’t wear loose or flowing clothes that might find its way into the fire.
- Never throw a match in the grill after the gas has been on.
- Don’t leave the grill unattended.
- Never use a propane barbecue grill on a balcony, terrace or roof – or in an enclosed area.
Bonfire do’s and don’ts
As summer winds down and the evenings begin to cool off, bonfires with family and friends become popular. Just remember these tips to have a safe and fun evening.
- Site well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs and always ALWAYS from fireworks.
- Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side.
- NEVER use flammable liquids – gasoline or lighter fluid - to light the fire.
- Don’t burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles.
- Keep everyone away from the fire – especially children, who must be supervised all the time.
For an emergency keep buckets of water or the garden hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
Pour water on the embers before leaving.
Have a fun, healthy and safe rest of your summer!
Do you have any summertime safety tips to share? Send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on Facebook.
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