Minnesota summers fly by, so it’s important to make the most of every warm, sunny day. Unfortunately, this season also means more activity in the emergency department, with nearly 20% more visits. Our Welia Health ER providers would prefer you bask in the sun at the beach instead of waiting to be seen for an injury or accident. To help ensure you remain safe while enjoying the summer, here are ten crucial safety tips worth following.
- Wear sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply every two hours, especially when swimming or sweating.
- Take breaks in the shade: Avoid the hottest part of the day and take breaks in the shade. If you must be outside, wear a hat and lightweight, breathable clothing. Check out the American Academy of Dermatology video on what to wear to protect your skin from the sun.
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. This hydration calculator will help you determine just how much you need.
- Stay safe in the water: Never swim alone and always supervise children near the water. Wear life jackets when boating or participating in water sports. Check out Abby’s Hope for more water safety tips.
- Practice fireworks safety: Leave fireworks to the professionals and attend public displays instead. If you choose to use fireworks, follow all safety guidelines and never let children light or handle them.
- Watch out for bugs: Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can carry diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors in wooded or grassy areas. If you’ve been outdoors, check yourself and your pets for ticks. Remove ticks promptly with tweezers and wash the area with soap and water.
- Be careful on the road: Summer is a busy time for traffic accidents. Drive defensively and never drink and drive. Always wear seat belts and use car seats or booster seats for children. On your bike? Always, always wear a helmet. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers these Summer Driving Tips.
- Stay cool: Use air conditioning or fans if possible to stay cool during heat waves. If you don’t have air conditioning, visit public places like libraries, movie theaters or shopping malls to beat the heat. Try some other practical tips for staying cool.
- Grill safely: Never leave a grill unattended and keep it away from flammable items like furniture and plants. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a grill. The same goes for fire pits.
- Protect your eyes: Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV or UV400 protection in a wraparound style that blocks the sun’s rays from entering through the sides. In addition, a broad-brimmed hat offers further protection. Read more from Welia Health: Save your sight: protect your eyes in the summer.
Enjoy your adventures this summer. As you do, remember the potential risks that may come along. Keep these precautions top of mind and you’ll be less likely to find yourself in the ER with me. Guard yourself from the sun with sunscreen and take breaks in the shade to stay hydrated. Practice water safety and be watchful of hazards on the road. When the heat is high, keep cool and ensure safe grilling habits. And after spending time outside, remember to check for ticks. By following these guidelines, you can keep your summer happy, healthy, and safe.
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In addition, Welia Health–Pine City’s Urgency Services is open 9am–7pm, seven days a week, with no appointment necessary.