SUMMER SAFETY IN THE OUTDOORS
Staying safe in the heat and humidity
The No. 1 concern for summer safety is the heat issue. “Heat affects
old and young. It does not discriminate. If you don’t catch
dehydration early, it becomes heat stroke,”.
Here are some of the signs of dehydration to watch for:
· Poor heart rate
· Pale, moist skin
· Muscle cramps
“Hydration is the key.” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) every child
while active, depending on his/her weight, needs 10-20 gulps of water every 20 minutes.
“Hydrate before, during and after exercise,” Tesoro added.
If it appears you’ve waited too long and there are symptoms of a heat illness, here are his
suggestions for treatment: rapid cooling – get victim in shade or indoors; remove any
equipment; cold water immersion either by spraying with a hose or cold water sponging
over the entire body; drink cool beverages and get medical assistance. Don’t wait for
emergency crews to arrive to begin these actions because it could be too late, plan ahead,
don’t overestimate your abilities and to have good communication. In the case of summer
sports, improve communication with coaches, parents and athletes. “It comes down to
knowing yourself,” Tesoro said.
Too often in the news we hear about children accidentally left in hot vehicles. According to
the Department of Children and Families (DCF), a car’s temperature can rise 19 degrees
in 10 minutes time. They advise you to never leave your child alone in a car. Earlier this
year the Florida legislature passed a law protecting people who see an animal or person
locked inside a hot car. People can now smash a window to rescue them without facing
legal action if the car’s owner wants to sue for damages. The law requires that rescuers
call 9-1-1 immediately after they break into a car, and stay with the vehicle until first
Another sad call responders receive is to rush to the scene of a potential drowning
victim – be it at a pool, a pond or a public beach. DCF says it is important to teach children
to know the difference between open water and pools, only swim in designated areas
with buddies, and never dive head first into water if you don’t know the depth. Always keep
safety equipment nearby for emergencies, supervise children in and around water, learn
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and install a four-sided fence around home pools,
the CDC advises.
Sun exposure should be of concern for all ages. The CDC reports that just a few sunburns
can increase the incidence of skin cancer later in life. The skin needs protection from
ultraviolet rays. They recommend covering up and using sunscreen with a sun protection
factor (SPF) of at least 15 that protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
Keeping food safe as the summer heats up
“Wash your hands.” There is no vaccine or medical intervention that can save as many
lives as simple hand washing. Wash hands thoroughly in warm, soapy w
soapy water for at least 20 seconds.”
· Use a food thermometer. “Relying on the color is not foolproof.”
· Clean it up. “All surfaces should be cleaned with hot, soapy water before and after use.
Use paper towels or wipes to clean up spills as opposed to using the same dishtowel. This
prevents spreading harmful bacteria. Prevent cross contamination by using separate
cutting boards for raw meat and poultry from the cutting board used for ready-to-eat
foods. Cover raw meat and poultry in sealed containers and place on the bottom shelf of
the refrigerator to prevent the raw meat juices from dripping onto other foods and
· Safely store leftovers. “As the temperature goes up, the amount of time perishable foods
can remain sitting out goes down. Set an alarm or timer to remind you to refrigerate or
freeze leftovers within two hours of serving. At your next outdoor event where the weather
is 90 degrees F or above, throw away any foods left within one hour of serving,” Golden
Make sure your cooking area is clean, cook food to the proper temperature and discard
perishable items that have been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. Other
recommendations include only grilling outdoors; place grill away from buildings, deck
railings, and overhanging trees or objects; keep children and pets away from the grilling
area; keep the grill clean by removing grease or buildup from grates and the bottom tray;
use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of food – 145 degrees for whole
meats, 160 for ground meats and 165 for poultry; and never leave the grill unattended.
Those pesky mosquitoes
During the wet summer season, Dr. Mary Beth Saunders, medical director of Epidemiology
and Infection Prevention for Lee Memorial Health System, is most concerned about
mosquito bites and the infections and secondary (bacterial) infections they can cause..”
To avoid mosquito bites while outdoors, she suggests wearing long sleeves, pants and
EPA-recommended mosquito repellent. DEET is the best all-purpose repellent, but do not
use this on babies less than two months old. Babies can be covered with clothing and
mosquito netting. For older children, use one with less than 30 percent DEET and for
people who are out in the heat for prolonged periods of time, use 50 percent or higher.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations: Don’t apply to open cuts or abrasions, don’t
apply near eyes or mouth, don’t let your children apply it themselves, you may apply
repellent to clothing, and be sure to wash your skin and clothes afterwards. If you do get a
mosquito bite, Saunders said, please get medical attention if you have pain, redness or a
rash at the bite area and are running a fever.
Read the full article from News-Press.
Thanks to Mike Petrick, OA Manager, for this great information.
SUMMER SAFETY IN THE OUTDOORS