With the Fourth of July in our rear view mirrors, it is safe to say we’re in the Dog Days of Summer! Summer is such a great, fun time of the year, but there are important things to remember to be sure everyone has an enjoyable time without any of the dangers the warm months can bring.
Stay hydrated. Water is such a simple, vital part of life, and in the summer it’s even more important! It may sound silly, but plan your water. Be sure to pack enough for whatever your outdoor adventure may be, and plan your water breaks. In the warmer months, we sweat more, so that water we’re excreting must be replenished with the water we consume. Dehydration is no fun, and can have detrimental health effects. Err on the side of caution, and drink up!
Practice water safety. Unfortunately, many summer deaths are caused by drowning. Enroll children in swimming lessons to be sure they have basic underlying fundamental skills before allowing them to swim in deep waters. Be sure kids have constant adult supervision, and have proper floatation devices readily available if needed in the event of an unfortunate accident. For adults, it’s best to keep the swimming activities alcohol free. Many adult water-related deaths are frequently caused by mixing the two.
Protect your noggin’. Adults and children alike should always wear a helmet while bicycling, and why stop there? Helmets should be worn when engaging in any wheeled or motor-related activity. Knee pads are another great piece of protective equipment for children. They protect from scrapes and hot metal surfaces when kids are first getting confident on their new set of “wheels!”
Wear your bug spray. Mosquitoes carry some of the worst diseases like Lyme and Zika. Bug spray helps keep these pesky pests at bay. Biting bugs tend to be worse near open water and in the forest. Also try not wear bright colors and floral patterns as these can actually attract stinging insects like wasps and hornets.
Keep the BBQ safe. Throwing a barbecue?! Be sure to keep children away from the hot fire that’s cooking up the feast. Be sure to cook meat to the appropriate temperature to avoid food illnesses. Another important thing to remember is to keep refrigerated food chilled until serving and to get any leftovers back in the refrigerator promptly. Be sure mayonnaise and salads with mayonnaise stay out of the sun, and should only be out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes max to avoid salmonella poisoning and other food illnesses.
Keeping these tips in mind this summer while you’re out and about with friends and family will help to ensure a safe and healthy summer! From all of us here at VAST, enjoy, and we hope to see you out there!