Avoid These Summer Hazards!

It’s definitely a HOT summer here in South Florida! While you might only be thinking of enjoying grilled food, swimming in the pool, or playing fun summer sports like volleyball or baseball, it’s important to be aware of some common summer hazards during this sunny season. Here are the most common health effects during summer months, and what you can do to prevent them.

Heat related illnesses such as heat stroke, sunburns, and heat exhaustion are just a few severe problems that can be caused by the summer sun. Water should be consumed frequently throughout the day – stay hydrated! Long-term exposure outdoors should be avoided, especially during peak hours when temperatures reach their highest, which is usually between 11am and 2pm daily. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen as directed, usually every two hours, and make sure to alternate between shady areas and sunny ones.

Car Accidents happen more frequently between Memorial Day and Labor Day than any other time of the year. Boating accidents are also much more common, and sometimes are just as deadly as a high-speed car accident. Wearing your seatbelt, using proper driving etiquette and following the laws are easy ways to prevent an accident. While boating doesn’t exactly have stop signs and speed limit signs, always pay attention to your surroundings.

‘Tis the season for creepy crawlers! When thinking of bug bites, many people imagine camping outdoors or a late night bonfire. While these summer activities certainly prolong exposure outside, it is very important to take precautions against pests every time you go outside. Mosquitoes and ticks are well known for carrying various diseases (ie Zika and Lyme!). Certain breeds of spiders are venomous to humans and pets, so keep Fido in mind, too! There are many different brands of bug repellent in just about any drug store or supermarket in your area, but there are also a ton of homemade repellent recipes available online as well.

Drowning is a very serious incident and very common during the summer months while all the little ones are enjoying the pool and beach! It might be silly to explain that swimming and water-related games increase a person’s chance of drowning, but still every year hundreds of residents drown in Florida alone. Even if a person survives, serious injuries can occur from near-drowning. Never swim alone and, if possible, swim with a lifeguard on duty. Make sure children, elderly, and those who have medical conditions that may prevent their ability to swim have proper water gear, such as life jackets. Knowing CPR can sometimes mean the difference between life and death and is a great skill to know down here where water sports and activities are prevalent.

Barbecues, cook-outs, or grilling out- whatever you call it, summer is delicious. However, food poisoning is an awful side effect of improper food preparation or not cooking foods fully. Make sure to freeze, refrigerate, or thaw foods according to FDA guidelines. Also, be sure to clean utensils properly before, during, and after cooking. Most adults don’t need to be reminded to wash their hands thoroughly before and after cooking, however, many food poisoning cases are caused by improper hand washing or not cleaning the counter tops properly. Especially when cooking outside, a lot of these simple preventative measures are overlooked.

Summer is the favorite season of many people, especially South Floridians. The warm weather, the fun activities, and the long days are key ingredients to making some fantastic memories. Take these precautions to prevent any mishaps, and you’ll certainly pack the most fun into those short few months!


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