Trinity Health First Response offers the following summer safety tips:
1. Have a first aid kit ready.
Be prepared for scrapes, scratches, bites, and more by having a first aid kit on hand. You’ll want to keep it stocked and ensure the ointments aren’t expired. Keep one at home and in your car for unexpected minor medical issues. Items like gauze pads, medical tape, bandages, eye protection, alcohol wipes, etc. are useful to include in your kit.
2. Check your car.
It’s easy to get distracted. Be sure to check your car before you lock up for any pets or children who may be left behind. A 78 degree outdoor temperature means the interior of a car can quickly reach up to 120 degrees within minutes.
3. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated is always important for optimal body functioning, but especially during the hot and humid months. That’s because fluids are lost through sweat which happens a lot more often in the summer. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure you keep water with you and drink it often. Consuming foods with high water content — think melons, lettuce, cucumbers, etc. — can also help you stay hydrated to avoid heat illnesses.
4. Prepare an emergency weather kit.
Summer is known for its long days, but it’s also a prime time for severe weather like thunderstorms. Heavy area storms can easily knock out power and scatter debris, making it difficult to travel outside the home for necessities. Ensure you have a full emergency kit ready to go with non-perishable food, flashlights, water, a first aid kit, extra medications, etc. to see you through an emergency situation.
5. Remember, bikes are vehicles, too.
With longer summer days, evenings and early mornings are perfect for solo bike rides. Not only is it great exercise, it’s good for the earth, too. Always ensure that you know the rules of the road before heading out for a ride. Additionally, wearing a helmet and other safety gear — like reflective clothing — can help you stand out to other motorists on the road.
6. Watch for signs of heat stress.
Heat stress can come on quickly and is dangerous if you’re not sure what to look for. If you or someone you’re with outdoors starts profusely sweating, feels faint or dizzy, or has a weak pulse, get into a cool area quickly. Stop all activity to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and get into the AC or a cooler place (like under a shade tree) to recoup energy.
7. Use sunscreen and use it right.
UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. To protect your skin, put sunscreen on every part of your body that will be exposed to the sun at least 15 minutes before going outside, even if it’s cloudy out. Sunscreen is most effective when used with other sun protection methods (sun glasses, hats, long sleeves). When choosing a sunscreen, pick one with at least SPF 15, and that offers broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. One coat of sunscreen doesn’t last all day. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to put it on your hands and feet, too.
8. Keep an escape tool (seat belt cutter/window breaker) in the glove box of your car.
No one likes to think about getting into a car accident; however, being prepared just in case is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and your passengers. An escape tool does exactly what its name implies. They can quickly and easily slash through a seat belt or break a window, so you’re not trapped in your car. If your vehicle is on fire or sinking, the last thing you want to struggle with is a seat belt that won’t come undone or a window you can’t open.