Seven Tips For Staying Safe This Summer

Seven Tips For Staying Safe This Summer

The sun’s out, temperatures are rising, & green grass has replaced the snowpack. It’s summertime in Colorado, which means camping, cookouts & other fun outdoor activities. It also means it’s peak season for injuries & trips to the emergency room (ER).

Here’s what you need to know about preventing common summertime injuries & what to do if they happen:

  • Wear Sun Protection

The sun is intense in Colorado & that can lead to serious consequences quickly.

Always wear sunscreen that protects against both UVA & UVB rays, as well as protective clothing, hats & sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even if it’s waterproof. And stay out of the sun from 10am to 3pm.

If you get sunburned, stay hydrated & treat symptoms with aloe & over-the-counter medications, such as pain relivers & topical antihistamine lotions.

If your sunburn blisters, seek medical treatment immediately.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

Dehydration is another heat-related illness that’s problematic at high altitudes, because of lack of humidity & quick evaporation of sweat.

Dehydration happens when your body doesn’t have enough fluids to function normally.

You can prevent dehydration by drinking fluids, eating a balanced diet & spending time outdoors when the heat isn’t so intense.

If you experience the telltale signs of dehydration, such as thirst, dry mouth & dizziness, get out of the sun, lie down where it’s cool & drink plenty of fluids.

Dehydration can quickly escalate to heatstroke, where your internal temperature rises to dangerous levels. As a result, your body starts to shut down. You stop sweating & you may experience confusion, flushed skin, rapid breathing & increased heart rate.

Severe dehydration & heatstroke require immediate medical attention.

  • Practice Food Safety

Warmer temperatures & outdoor dining can lead to food poisoning, because food can develop harmful bacteria after a short time in the heat.

Keep food cold by putting it on ice until you’re ready to eat it. And store your ice chest out of the sun.

Clean surfaces & utensils. Don’t contaminate them or other food with bacteria from raw meat, poultry or seafood. Keep uncooked meat separate from other foods. Wash your hands before & after you handle raw food.

Cook meat to the correct internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Always put cooked meat on a clean plate.

Throw away any food that’s been out for two hours or more.

Mild food poisoning can be treated at home. Hydrate with clear liquids & eat bland food in small portions until you feel better.

If nausea, vomiting & diarrhea last for more than a couple days (or >24 hours in children), see your physician.

  • Steer Clear of Stinging Insects

For most people, an insect sting is a painful nuisance, but it can be fatal in others.

To avoid stinging insects, don’t use heavy scents, especially florals, & wear plain, light-colored clothing. In addition, cover food & sugary drinks.

If you do get stung, apply ice to the affected area & take a pain reliever as well as an antihistamine.

If you experience trouble breathing, swelling of the tongue or face, or a severe reaction from a sting, go to the ER immediately.

  • Reduce The Risk Of Sports-Related Injuries

Bike-related injuries increase during the summer. The most common are concussions & fractures of the hand, wrist & shoulder.

High-speed descents & user error cause most mountain biking accidents. And, while not all of them can be avoided, you can reduce the risk of serious injury by taking safety precautions:

  • Inspect your bike every time you ride & make sure the brakes & tires are working properly.
  • Wear the proper gear – a helmet, body armor & cycling glasses
  • Never ride alone
  • Always be aware of your surroundings & look out for obstacles

If you’re injured in an accident, move to a safe area off the trail & call bike patrol. Stay calm, don’t move unnecessarily & wait for help to arrive.

  • Use Fireworks Responsibly

Fireworks are a great, but if they aren’t handled properly, they can do serious damage.

A responsible adult should always supervise & take these safety precautions when using legal fireworks outdoors:

  • Read the instructions to understand how it works before lighting the fuse.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Light one firework at a time & then move away quickly.
  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby to put out small fires

Never give fireworks to children, especially sparklers. Sparklers can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees & cause significant eye injuries.

If you or your child gets burned, wrap the wound in a clean towel saturated with cool water & get to an ER immediately.

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