National Safety Month: Staying safe in the summer
Our next set of safety tips for National Safety Month have to do with summer safety.
Sun Exposure Safety: Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay active and obtain vitamin D; however consistent exposure to the sun can cause health effects if proper care is not taken. UV exposure can damage our skin when exposed for long periods of time. Tanning beds and sunlamps can also expose our skin to dangerous UV light. The UV Index is the best way to gauge the strength of UV rays each day. In general, it is recommended to protect your skin from too much UV exposure when the UV index is 3 or higher. In addition, remember that we should be protecting our skin throughout all seasons (not just the summer!). There are several ways to protect yourself (and others) from sun exposure:
- Apply broad spectrum sunscreen that is designed appropriately to block all UV rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher. SPF, which stands for sun protection factor, is a number which rates how well the product blocks UV rays. The higher the number the more protection it provides. Reapply often (especially if wet) and be sure to check the expiration dates on all sunscreen products.
- Wear additional clothing and hats, as needed to block sun exposure. It is recommended to use additional clothing and hats in combination with sunscreen on very sunny days when the UV index is over 3.
- The use of sunglasses helps protect your eyes from exposure to UV light. They also help protect your skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses designed and intended to block the most UV rays are most recommended.
- Always have accessibility to shade when planning to spend long days outdoors in the sun. Areas of shade include trees, porches with overhangs, beach umbrellas, and outdoor pop-up tents.
Water Safety: Sadly, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between one and four years old; and it’s the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 19 and under.
- Never leave a child unattended around water. Children less than one year old are found to be more likely to drown at home in a bathtub or bucket. Watch children at all times around water and ensure no distractions are present (i.e. books, phones, TV).
- Install barriers or institute best practices to limit the potential for a drowning to happen. For example:
- Install fences with lockable self-latching gates around all pools.
- Empty all water buckets, containers, and kid’s pools immediately and close lids to the toilet. If necessary, close all doors to bathrooms and/or garages where standing water may be present.
- Learn CPR so you understand the basics of responding to a victim. If calling, 911 – remain calm, speak slowly, and listen for directions from the dispatcher.
We hope you have found this month’s safety articles informative and useful!