Your 2016 Summer Safety Guide

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Summer is here, which means it’s time for some outdoor fun and activities with the family. The season is a favorite for many adults and children alike. To take full advantage of a little fun in the sun, it’s important to stay safe in the summer months.

Here are a few tips to keep the fun going and stay safe this summer:

Using Sunscreen

There’s no doubt the warm summer weather will have you and your family out and about enjoying the sunshine. Summer is a great time to hike, swim, boat and picnic outside. Make sure your skin is safe by safe-guarding it with proper clothing, hats and of course, sunscreen.

With the abundance of sunscreen options, it might be overwhelming to try to determine which one is best for your needs. If you’re concerned about ingredients, safety or sun protection levels, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a great resource, which compares the ingredients, strength and safety of each sunscreen. This resource is updated each year to provide you with the most current information.

Staying Hydrated

canstockphoto34337767The warm weather generally means more activity so staying hydrated is essential. Even in overcast weather when you don’t feel as hot, it’s easy to become dehydrated. There’s varying information on how much liquid it takes to stay hydrated. The American Heart Association has a few simple tips for figuring out how much to drink:

 

  • If you sweat more, you need to drink more than those who don’t sweat much
  • If you have medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease, you’ll need to drink more water than someone without these ailments
  • If you’re feeling thirsty, then you’re already showing symptoms of dehydration.

So what’s the best drink option for staying hydrated? Water. Simple and easy to find.

Stings and Bites

More time outside means more contact with outdoor critters, which can lead to stings and bites! No worries though, most stings and bites are mild and can be treated easily, but prevention is your best bet. To minimize the chances of stings and bites, try these tips:

  • Learn about the plants in your area so you can determine which ones might be dangerous
  • Wear an insect repellant
  • Invest in insect-repelling plants and candles for the backyard and porch areas where you’ll be spending time

If you do end up with insect stings or bites, make sure to treat the area immediately. Disinfect the area with warm soap and water and apply an anti-itch or anti-sting topical medication.

If your reaction is serious, contact emergency services right away. For more detailed information, Mayo Clinic has a great write-up on stings and bites.

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Visiting the beach this year? Trips to the ocean are a popular summer activity, and many families will make a coastal location one of their vacation destinations this year. Snorkeling and swimming in the ocean is a great way to enjoy the beach, but you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to rip currents. A rip current is a strong current, which has the ability to pull swimmers down and away from shore. Even strong swimmers can get caught in rip currents.

In order to avoid this hazard, look up whether or not any rip current warnings are set in place on the days you’re visiting the beach. Make sure to stay close to a lifeguard station, and talk with your family about rip currents to ensure they’re prepared.

Summer safety tips can vary from one location to the next as well. Different climates and landscapes call for different precautions.  Plan ahead and be mindful of your environment.

Remember, if you are on vacation or away from home, and become sick or injured, you can still call MAP® for assistance.  We can guide you to an urgent care facility or appropriate provider.  Always call emergency services or 911 if you are in a life-threatening situation.

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