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Backyard barbecues and beach time are classic summer pastimes and opportunities to make great memories with friends and family. As you prepare your home for parties and friendly gatherings or plan a boating excursion, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, unaware of the possibility for significant injuries and illness. While having all that fun, it's important to stay aware of the hazards can accompany these outdoor activities.
Educate yourself and loved ones on summer hazards to spend more time with friends this summer -- instead of time recovering from an avoidable illness or injury! Some tips:
Adults and children often forget to reapply sunscreen after being out in the sun for awhile. After spending hours at the pool, gardening, or other hobbies outdoors, it's possible to develop first and second-degree thermal burns. To avoid that, always reapply sunscreen as directed, wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats whenever possible, and perform outdoor activities before or after midday hours.
Enjoy outdoor meals and picnics without indigestion or nausea. Certain foods are more prone than others to develop a high concentration of bacteria that would lead to food poisoning when left unrefrigerated for a few hours. Food products including meat, dairy, eggs and mayonnaise can play host to undesirable bacteria leading to food-borne illnesses. Keep such foods packed in well-insulated coolers and only take them out to share just prior consumption. For a case of food poisoning when symptoms continue for more than 24 hours in young children -- or for more than few days in older children and adults -- it's important to seek medical attention.
Drink water and other fluids with electrolytes even when you do not feel thirsty. Adults and children often do not drink enough water. Couple that with warm weather and plenty of distractions and it's not uncommon to soon feel the first signs of dehydration. Initial indicators can include dizziness and a cotton-mouth feeling. Drink up to avoid developing severe dehydration or heat stroke.
Getting ready to host a party or simply trying to keep grass growth in check? Proper mowing techniques are important. Without goggles, gloves and closed-toed shoes, homeowners risk injury from flying rocks and sticks. There's also a risk of injury to your hands when unclogging a mower. Summer seasonal care precautions require appropriate, protective clothing for mowing and outdoor maintenance activities avoid serious lacerations, fractures and infection.
Boating accidents often occur when alcohol is involved. Avoid alcohol at all costs to prevent drownings and boating injuries, and always have children wear life jackets when aboard a boat. And as always, make sure the adults are steering/driving the boat and staying a safe distance from other boaters and swimmers nearby.
Get outside this summer and spend quality time with friends and family. Know what seasonal care tips to keep in mind and seek urgent care from a healthcare professional for severe illness, sunburns, dehydration or injury.