lear skies, cool water
and f resh-squeezed
images of summer at its
they’re not all the season has to
offer. Summer also presents many
hazards, making this a good time
for a quick safety review.
It doesn’t mix with driving,
boating or swimming.
To help keep bees and other
stinging insects away, don’t wear bright-
colored clothing and don’t use perfume
or scented soaps. Cover food and drinks
at outdoor events.
Give someone your itinerary,
and think carefully about the equipment,
supplies and skills you’ll need for your trip.
It’s a particular concern for
active kids. Make sure they drink between
5 and 9 ounces (about 10 to 20 gulps) of
fluid every 20 minutes during vigorous
If you’re severely allergic
to insects that sting, carrying a device that
allows you to inject yourself with this res-
cue medication could save your life. But
don’t forget that you still need to go to the
emergency department if you’re stung—
even if you use epinephrine.
can quickly multiply on food in summer’s
heat. At picnics, keep foods you’d normally
refrigerate on plenty of ice. If possible, chill
or freeze foods before packing them in a
cooler. Be sure to pack cold and hot foods
separately. And don’t let perishable food
sit out for more than two hours—that time
drops to only one hour if the temperature
outside is 90 degrees or higher.
Barbecue meat to an appropri-
ate minimum internal temperature to kill
bacteria (steak to 145 degrees; hamburger,
160 degrees; and chicken, 165 degrees).
For prevention, dress in
lightweight clothes and do strenuous ac-
tivities when it’s coolest (early morning
and after sunset). Seek out air conditioning
when you can. Strongly consider postpon-
ing or canceling your outdoor activities
when it’s extremely hot or humid.
It’s a problem that can af-
fect swimmers in parasite-infested waters.
Known as swimmer’s itch, it usually can
be treated with corticosteroid cream, cool
compresses or anti-itch lotions.
Pools, lakes, oceans—whatever the
source of cool water during hot days,
kids want it. Make water safety a prior-
ity with these tips for kids:
Watch them like a hawk.
close attention whenever kids are in
or near water—and always keep little
ones within arm’s reach. Texting, phon-
ing, reading or doing yard work could
be risky distractions.
Take precautions with home
If you have a backyard pool,
make sure it’s properly enclosed so
that no one gets in without you know-
ing. Recommended safety features
include fencing on all four sides, with
self-closing and self-latching gates.
Don’t overlook the risks of inflatable
or portable pools either. Empty them
right away when you’re done using
them, and store them upside down and
out of a child’s reach.
Issue U.S. Coast Guard-approved
Make sure they’re worn
for those lake and ocean outings—and
consider having young or inexperienced
swimmers use them in swimming pools.
Sources: American Red Cross; Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention; Safe Kids Worldwide
That’s the time it can take
for heatstroke, a life-threatening condition,
to develop in a child left in a car on a sunny
day. Never leave children alone in a vehicle
or let them play in an unattended vehicle.
If you see a child left alone in a hot vehicle,
call the police.
eep your distance.
That’s how you
should think of lightning. When you see
it, note how long it takes to hear thun-
der. If it’s 30 seconds or less, seek shelter
S a f e t y
immediately. Stay away from open fields,
open structures or vehicles. If you or some-
one you know is struck by lightning, get
medical help right away.
It’s smart attire for all boaters,
even those who know how to swim.
Some are just pests; some
carry West Nile virus. To protect yourself,
use insect repellent containing DEET,
especially at night. Follow the instructions
on the label. If using an insect repellent
on kids, keep in mind that it should only
contain 30 percent DEET. And never use
it on babies.
That’s slang for your head, a
part of your body that needs a helmet
when you bike, in-line skate or ride a
scooter. Make helmets mandatory for
your kids too.
alone or in canals or fast-moving water.
Don’t swim in the ocean unless a lifeguard
is on duty, and check with the lifeguard
about surf and beach conditions before
going in the water.
S U M M E R 2 0 1 6
H E A L T H
B E A T