Summer Safety Reminders
As the warm weather approaches, this is a good time to be reminded of some
preventable steps to keep you and your family safe while enjoying all
of the outdoor activities that we are fortunate to have here in Southern
It is important to wear sunscreen year-round, but as you spend more time
outdoors in the warmer months, you need to be extra diligent with how
and when you apply sunscreen. Apply one ounce of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes
before going outdoors and reapply every 2 hours if swimming or sweating.
Look for broad spectrum protection that blocks both UVA and UVB rays with
at least SPF30. As an extra bonus, in addition to helping prevent skin
cancer, wearing sunscreen slows down the development of premature aging
of skin. Hats, sunglasses and protective clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet
Protection Factor) serve as an extra layer of protection when spending
time in the sun.
Special Precautions on Hot Days
During the hotter months it’s key to take preventive steps against
overheating, and to watch for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Drink plenty of water prior to being outdoors, continue to drink water
throughout the day even if you don’t feel thirsty, and stay indoors
during mid-day on extremely hot days. This is especially important for
adults over 65 years old whose bodies are less effective at regulating
temperature particularly those with chronic health conditions. Wear light
colored, light weight loose fitting clothing, and avoid exercising outdoors
on extremely hot days even if you are healthy and fit.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Heat exhaustion symptoms include confusion, dizziness, fatigue, dark colored
urine, fainting, headache, muscle or abdominal cramps, profuse sweating,
pale skin, rapid heartbeat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Even though
you will feel hot, your skin remains moist and cool. If not treated, heat
exhaustion can progress to heat stroke. The first sign of heat stroke
may be fainting as the core body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
with the skin feeling hot and dry due to the cessation of sweating.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency and 911 should be called immediately.
If heat exhaustion is suspected, get out of the heat and get inside to
rest, preferably in air conditioning. Drink plenty of fluids avoiding
caffeine and alcohol, and remove any tight or heavy clothing. It may also
help to take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath.
Remember to never leave a child or animal in a car. Even when you think
it isn’t hot outside, the inside of a car can turn into a hotbox
in just a few minutes.
In and Around Water
During the warmer months people flock to community pools and beaches. Larger
crowds require you to be more aware of your surroundings when swimming
and enjoying other water activities.
The big takeaway with swimming pool safety is the importance of a “pool
watcher”. Pools tend to be active and loud allowing for a child
to drown without being seen or heard. Never let a child swim alone, and
always have an adult assigned to watch the pool during parties.
Don’t swim alone, try to swim near lifeguard stations and always
pay attention to the water condition flags and postings. Never swim where
there are surfers, as they may not have the control to redirect themselves
if your paths cross. Be aware of the undercurrents, shallow water and rocks.
When jet skiing, water skiing, wake boarding and boating, always be alert
for other watercrafts, paddle boarders and swimmers. Everyone should wear
a life vest regardless of their age and swimming ability.
The coming months are packed with times to celebrate with family and friends.
While enjoying the holidays, birthdays and other momentous occasions,
drink responsibly, and don’t drink and drive. Remember that operating
a watercraft when drinking can bring the same consequences as when driving a car.
Prom and graduation season is a good time to remind your teens of the confidential
South County Safe Rides program based out of Mission Hospital. Supervised
by an adult advisor, transport teams - each made up of a volunteer male
and female high school student - provide rides home to teens under the
influence, stranded, or wanting to leave an uncomfortable situation. Teens
can call (800) 273-7433 (RIDE) Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m.
to 1:15 a.m. during the school year.
Find more information on South County Safe Rides at Mission4Health.com/SafeRides