The summer season brings cookouts, pool parties and other celebrations, as well as a new set of safety hazards. This year, keep these safety tips in mind as you enjoy the season on the job and at home.
Temperatures rise in the summer months. Being exposed to warm weather can cause health issues, such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To avoid these, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and take frequent breaks in shaded areas to cool off. Try to complete outdoor work during cool hours, such as in the early morning or at night. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, fatigue, confusion, pale skin and rapid heartbeat. If you, or someone near you, exhibits the symptoms of heat exhaustion, it is important to find a cool, shaded area, drink fluids and cool off with fans or water.
Whether it’s a cookout at home, or a day at the beach, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Always wear sunscreen while enjoying the outdoors. Exposure to UVB and UVA rays can increase the risk of burns and skin cancer. Sunburns can be treated by applying a cool compress to the area, and rubbing creams such as aloe, menthol and camphor to the burn. It is recommended to wear a minimum of SPF 30 daily when exposed to the sun and reapply as directed on the bottle. Skin cancer is the most common cancer found in young adults and is highly preventable with the proper use of sunscreen and clothing.
Stings and bites
Along with high temperatures, summer also brings bees and other stinging insects. Bee stings are merely annoying and painful to most, but can be life-threatening for some. If you get stung, first remove the stinger if it remains in your skin. Wash the area with soap and water, and apply ice or a cool compress to reduce swelling. If the area itches, you can apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Avoiding heavy perfumes, wearing insect repellent and guarding food and drinks can help you avoid stings.
Mowing: it’s the summer chore most of us have to do. To avoid lawn mower-related injuries, be sure to practice safe handling. Follow these tips:
- Pick up all sticks, stones and other objects from the lawn before mowing
- Wear fitting clothes and sturdy shoes (no sandals or sneakers)
- Mow advancing forward
- Turn the mower off every time you leave it
- Keep all people and pets away from the mower
- Do not allow extra riders on riding lawn mowers
- Do not use riding mowers on slopes
Remember to practice safety mindfulness to enjoy a summer free of seasonal injuries and illnesses on the job and at home.