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Summer Safety and Wellness
Happy summer! Join the Sussex County Division of Health and Office of Public Health Nursing in welcoming the warm months by learning some safety and wellness tips to get you through the summer.
Summer is in full swing, which means it's the ideal time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But are you protecting yourself against potential dangers?
The month of July is designated as Ultraviolet (UV) or Sun Safety Month. The purpose of this month’s campaign is to raise awareness about the importance of protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Therefore, sun protection is always in style.
It is essential to protect your skin from UV damage all year long, regardless of the weather. Why? Sunburn, skin aging, eye damage, and skin cancer, the most common of all cancers, can all be caused by extended exposure to the sun without any form of protection.
When summertime comes around people may want to get outside and work on their tan since they were stuck indoors all winter long. Although a tan may look great, it can be a sign that the skin is responding to potentially harmful UV radiation. Developing a tan may give you some, but not enough, protection from sunburn in the future. It does not mean that a tan is healthy for your skin.
In order to keep your skin protected, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. follow the tips listed below.
- Reduce your sun exposure
- Wear protective gear – like a wide-brimmed hat or UV-blocking sunglasses
- Apply broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen every two hours
Overall, it is important to remember that spending time in the sun is usually good for you! Sun exposure can help your body produce and absorb necessary vitamin D which is essential for the health of your bones, blood cells, and immune system. But we have to remember the harm that prolonged sun exposure can cause to the body as well.
Just make sure that you are taking the right steps to protect yourself from the sun and harmful UV rays. It’s time to take care of your body and your skin.
For more information about sun safety or the dangers of UV light, visit the following websites.
Swimming and other water-related activities are great ways to get exercise and stay cool in the summer. They do come with various risks, so it is important to minimize injury and illness.
Life-saving skills such as CPR and the basics of swimming are important for water-related activities. Be sure that all children are under supervision while they are swimming or around water. A pool should have a fence around it to prevent children from entering the pool area on their own. Individuals should wear lifejackets when in and around natural bodies of water (such as lakes or the ocean), even if they know how to swim. It is also important to know your limits when in the water: too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun or too much hard activity.
Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea or an open wound. Getting urine, feces or blood in the water can spread diseases to other people.
During a summer day, be sure to keep yourself and your family hydrated by drinking enough water. Water prevents dehydration and helps the body to keep a normal temperature, get rid of wastes and cushion joints.
Get more tips on water safety here: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/index.html .
Summer is a great time for outdoor activities. However, bugs such as ticks or mosquitoes are most active during the warmer months of the year. They can cause bites and spread diseases. It is important to use an effective insect repellent while outdoors and to wear protective clothing that will prevent the insects from coming in contact with the skin. After being outdoors, make sure to check the body for ticks, especially under the arms, between the legs, on the backside and in/around the hair. To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers and pull straight up. Clean the skin with soap and water after removal.
Learn more about ticks here: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/ticks/index.html.
During the summer, there are many fun activities that can be enjoyed. Be sure to keep yourself and your family safe by following these tips.
Make sure that children wear helmets when riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc. and while playing contact sports. If they fall or collide, wearing a helmet can prevent an injury to the head. Check out the playground before allowing your child to play - check for soft ground material, read the signs and look for hazards in the play area, such as rocks, areas with no guardrails, or tree stumps.
Exposure to extreme heat can cause illness, injury and death. High levels of humidity, obesity, fever, dehydration, prescription drug use, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn and alcohol use can increase risk of developing a heat-related illness. Be sure to stay hydrated with water, stay cool in air-conditioned areas and wear light-weight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothes. Never leave children alone in the car.
The summer months bring people together for barbecues, pool parties and picnics. However, warm weather provides the ideal growing conditions for bacteria that can cause food-borne illnesses. Here are four simple steps to food safety:
- Clean: wash your hands and food-preparation surfaces often
- Separate: use separate plates for raw and cooked foods
- Cook: use a thermometer to check that foods are cooked to the right temperatures
- Chill: keep the refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate foods promptly
Learn more about summer activities and children here: https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/ .
For more information about extreme heat, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.html .
For additional tips on food safety, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/features/befoodsafe/index.html .
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