Safe for the Summer: Tips to Help You Stay Protected and Healthy While Enjoying the Season
June 15, 2020
With summer officially here, chances are you’re hoping to take advantage of the season’s many opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature. And while it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still here and we should be doing everything we can to stop the spread of this virus, taking a break to get outside, soak up some vitamin D and enjoy a little fun in the sun can do a world of good for your physical and mental health. Whether you’re taking the family to a mountain cabin, having a picnic in the park or prioritizing some pool time, remember to take the steps to help keep you, your family and your community healthy and safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Social distancing (staying six feet apart)
- Wearing a mask or cloth face covering in public spaces to help protect others and yourself
- Frequently washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol) and
- Staying home if you’re feeling ill.
And keep in mind these handy tips and important precautions to help you beat the heat, savor the water and have a safe and healthy summer.
Did you know that heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S.? Fortunately, there are some simple steps we can take to help prevent heat-related illness as we enjoy the outdoors. Beat the heat with these cool tips:
- Be aware of temperature and humidity levels and modify your activity accordingly
- Always use an SPF-15 or higher sunscreen that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays
- Wear sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes from the sun’s rays
- Limit outdoor activities when temps are at their highest (typically mid-day)
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of low to no-sugar fluids (water is best!)
- Search out cooler areas outside; and when the temp rises above 90, switch to an indoor activity
- Avoid enclosed places like cars or garages
- NEVER leave children or animals in a car unattended
- Dress for comfort, with loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing
- Take breaks when exercising
- Limit or avoid adult beverages (alcohol can impair your body’s ability to self-regulate its temperature)
Nothing beats the sweltering summer heat like a dip in the water. Be it poolside, lakeside or beachside, these tips from the American Red Cross are key to ensuring a fun, safe time for all.
- Only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards
- Always swim with a buddy
- Never leave a child unattended near water or trust a child’s life to another child
- Make sure young children and inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water
- Don’t play around drains and suction fittings in the pool
- Always be cautious around natural bodies of water – currents and underwater hazards can make falling into the water dangerous
- Wear a life jacket when boating (most boating fatalities actually occur from drowning)
- Avoid alcohol use around pools and bodies of water
- If you have a pool or hot tub, or live near a body of water, keep reach-and-throw equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit nearby.
Summer is also fireworks season. With many fireworks shows being canceled this year due to the ongoing pandemic, you may be thinking of having some fireworks fun in your own backyard (if legally able to do so). Follow these guidelines to keep your focus on a safe time for all:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
- Ensure an adult is always present to supervise fireworks activities
- Keep a bucket of water or?hose close by?in case of?a fire
- Avoid fireworks packaged in brown paper because?this?is often a?signal of fireworks that are?strictly?for professional displays
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse?
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person?or carry fireworks in your pocket
- Never?shoot?off?fireworks?in metal or glass containers
- Never attempt?to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the?fireworks?with water from a bucket or hose before discarding it, to prevent a trash fire.
Following these helpful tips, taking the proper precautions and engaging in some thoughtful planning can go a long way towards helping you enjoy this season safely. Should you or anyone you’re with succumb to illness or injury, it’s important to seek proper medical attention immediately and – in cases of emergency – call 911.
For more information on heat safety, visit www.weather.gov/safety/heat
For more information on water safety, visit www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html
For more information on fireworks safety, visit www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks