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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.
During the summer, it's natural to get outside and be in the sun. However, too much unprotected exposure to the sun's rays can cause damage to the skin and eyes as well as skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
To reduce sun exposure and skin damage, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, wear clothing that covers the arms and legs, wear a hat and sunglasses, stay in the shade during midday hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and avoid indoor tanning.
If you or a family member gets a sunburn, apply pure aloe vera gel to the area, take a cool (not cold) shower or apply cool, wet compresses to the skin, take an anti-inflammatory medicine (like ibuprofen) or apply moisturizing cream to rehydrate the skin.
For additional sun safety information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety-tips-families.htm .
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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