Amusement parks, beaches, community swimming pools, summer sports, bike riding, hiking…Yes honey! With that said, let’s cover a few safety tips for fun in the sun as we creep towards the end of this season.
Chilling in the Sun…
Summer fun brings forth increased time in the sun, hence greater exposure to UV Radiation. Exposure to UV radiation is a cause of skin cancer, so as you can imagine, it is very important all year around. Now I know women of color embrace that “Melanin Poppin” skin; however, please remember, melanin is protective, not preventative. With that said, here are a few sun safety tips:
- Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 on all exposed skin. You can also do this by using lotion that has sunscreen included. Reapply after 2 hours or after swimming or sweating it off.
- Use the shade as much as possible during the midday hours.
- Wear clothing that covers your legs and arms when possible.
- Wear shades to protect your eyes and a cap to protect your head and face
- Avoid indoor tanning.
Cruising the Streets and Bike Trails…
In 2015, almost 500,000 people were treated in the emergency room for bike injuries, which was more than football injuries that year and just under the number for basketball injuries. This statistic was quite surprising to me! Bicyclists should take extra precaution while riding, especially now that people are texting and doing live videos while driving their cars. Here are a few safety tips:
- Wear a helmet! I know this may seem silly or make some feel weird, but wouldn’t you prefer to look silly than to have a head or brain injury? Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 60% and brain injury by 58%.
- Obey the traffic laws and use hand signals while biking.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night.
- Try to do your biking during the day.
- Use bike trails/lanes when available and be sure to speak up when approaching someone walking to prevent an accident.
Relaxing at the Beach or Pool Side
Going to the pool or beach with the family is meant to be a fun time and typically turns out that way. As you are aware, catastrophic accidents can also happen. One of the leading causes of death for individuals between ages 5-24 deals with water accidents. Let’s pray that these accidents pass over our family and friends as we follow these safety tips:
- Never leave your child alone, even in the bathtub. If you leave, take your child with you.
- Invest in swimming lessons. Babies can start at some places as early as 6 months.
- Avoid alcohol and drug use around water.
- Use the life guards as your assistants, opposed to the main monitor of the swimmers.
- Get trained in CPR.
- Don’t underestimate any body of water. All bodies of water pose a risk from buckets of water to large creeks and rivers.
- Keep a first-aid kit and emergency contacts available.
- If a child is missing, check the water first as children can live above water longer than under water.
- Use a life jacket on children and those who can’t swim in large bodies of water. Also use a life jacket when rafting or boating as your boat can tip over at any time.
The Family BBQ!
Music, laughter, family, friends and oh yes…the food! What’s the summer without it? As you are aware, some foods are meant to be kept at a certain temperature and at night time, the bugs come out to play! Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning your family BBQ:
- Bring ice chests to store your mayonnaise products, including potato salad.
- Bring bug spray to prevent mosquito and tick bites.
- Keep children away from the grills.
- Cook the meat fully. You should not see pink on the inside of your meat.
- Drink lots of water and use the shade to avoid heat stroke.
All in all, the summer time is lots of fun with lots of great activities to develop long time memories from. We have too much going for ourselves and too much to lose to have life altering accidents occur that were preventable. Be smart, be safe and have a great summer!
Until next time,
Resources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Safety Council