Summertime can be a lot of fun. Backyard cook outs, hiking in the woods, sports, taking a splash in the pool, and other outdoor activities. But it can also be dangerous. Other than slips and falls, more types of accidents happen in the summer than any other time of year. As a matter of fact, according to the 2007 U.S. Kids Summer Safety Ranking Report, 89% more accidents happen in the summer than during the rest of the year.
If your idea of a lazy summer afternoon is relaxing on the porch with a cold drink, then you probably don’t have much to worry about, but if your itinerary is a little more on the active side, then you might want to consider these tips for staying safe this summer.
A few years ago I was helping a friend do some landscaping in her backyard, a simple summertime chore that millions of people do every year. I had just finished mowing the grass and was trimming out near the back. There was a fence that separated the yard from the alley and the weeds had grown pretty high back there between the fence and the curb.
As I was trimming I backed up and stepped over the curb and fell backwards slamming my knee on the curb pretty hard. At the same time the weed wacker I was holding in my hands flew back and hit me in the face. I ended up with a broken leg and several stitches. It took me the whole rest of the summer to heal.
Most of the injuries that we receive during the summer are minor. Before going out in the sun be sure to apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 5 30 minutes before you go out. This allows the sunscreen to soak into your skin so it will last longer. Be sure to reapply every couple of hours.
Poison Ivy can be avoided by wearing long sleeves and pants. If you do come in contact with the stuff, be sure to wash the area throughly with cool water only (no soap) immediately after. If you are gardening and want to get rid of it, apply some Poison Ivy cream to any exposed skin right before you go to work.
Other summer accidents can be more serious. If you are allergic to insect stings like I am, be sure to carry an emergency kit with you, especially in the woods. You can get them from the doctor. Otherwise an antihistamine like Benadryl can help ease the discomfort.
Heat stroke can kill, pure and simple. The symptoms are a hot, dry, flushed skin and a high temperature. Be sure to moderate activity when it’s extremely hot and drink plenty of fluids. If you have a medical condition, it’s probably best that you stay indoors.