Summertime is time to bring out the bathing suits, shorts, and T-shirts, along with your sense of adventure. People are out enjoying the beautiful warm weather with activities like hiking, boating, and camping. However, it’s also a time of year when accidents related to water sports and heat exhaustion are filling emergency rooms, and disease-carrying ticks are a threat to both pets and their humans.
Staying Safe in the Water
Whether you’re boating, swimming, surfing, or just playing near any body of water, safety should be on your mind. Water is fun, refreshing, and lends itself to so many fun sports, but it’s important to never underestimate the potential danger that water poses, especially to children.
Basic Water Safety Tips
- Water and alcohol don’t mix. Don’t consume alcohol and operate any type of watercraft. Don’t get behind the wheel of a boat or ride a jet ski, etc. This is a lethal combination and unfortunately drownings and accidents occur every year because of this. Don’t swim when you are intoxicated.
- Always supervise children around water of any depth. Children on boats, canoes, kayaks, etc. should always be wearing a children’s life vest. Don’t rely on water toys such as floaties or “water wings” to keep your children safe.
- Don’t go out in the water alone – employ a buddy system.
- Don’t dive off of rocks or into unknown waters. Remember to get in the water feet first.
- Know your limits. If you are getting tired or winded, get out of the water.
- Always heed warning signs or lifeguard warnings. If you are in an unfamiliar area, take your cue from the locals. If they aren’t in the water, you shouldn’t be, either.
Be Aware of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can happen fast and be life-threatening if it escalates into heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea, and weakness. If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated.
Tips to Help you Avoid Heat Exhaustion
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can sneak up on you so be cautious and never go anywhere in even moderate heat without an adequate water supply.
- Be mindful of medication. There are many medications that can reduce heat tolerance. Be sure to read all medication information. Some meds make you more sensitive to heat and the effects of UV rays.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of at least 40 SPF.
- Do take time to acclimate to heat. If you are unaccustomed to hot weather, don’t start off with a five-mile hike in hot weather. Give yourself a chance to adjust.
- Don’t go out in the heat alone. Hike, run, camp with a buddy.
Stay Vigilant When it Comes to Ticks
Ticks aren’t just a nuisance, they are a health risk. Ticks carry lyme disease and thousands of people report the illness each year. Keep yourself and your pets safe this summer by following these guidelines.
- Wear pants and long sleeves outside.
- Wear light-colored clothing. It makes the ticks easier to spot on your clothing.
- Keep your legs protected. Legs are the most likely starting point for ticks, so either tuck your pants into your socks or wear leg gaiters to keep them from getting under your pant legs and on to your skin.
- Treat your clothing with tick repellent.
- Check yourself and your pets for ticks each and every time you go outside.
Following basic safety guidelines means you’ll be able to enjoy a nice, long summer full of adventure and fun.If you have any concerns about health and safety in the sun or the water, or you have concerns about ticks or other summer pests, talk to your provider today.