Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips

June 8, 2023 in News, Public Health

As the summer season kicks off, Delaware County Public Health wants to remind everyone to stay active and have fun this summer but to do so safely.

Remember Sunscreen. Whenever you are outdoors wear SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, putting it on 30 minutes before going outside. One common misconception is not needing to wear sunscreen if it is cloudy outside. UV rays can penetrate clouds so unless you are completely shaded and protected from the sun, you still need sunscreen on cloudy days. Look for sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection.”

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Accessories. Wearing light colored, lightweight clothing will help you stay cool. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to provide further protection for your eyes and skin against harmful rays.

Prevent Bug and Tick Bites. Summertime in Iowa means there will be bugs. Make sure you wear insect repellent. Keep your lawn trimmed because ticks like tall grass. Before coming inside, check yourself for ticks. If you get bit by a bug and experience what’s called a “bullseye rash” (looks like a ring around the bite) reach out to your healthcare provider right away. This is the classic sign of Lyme Disease.

Stay Cool and Hydrated. Try to plan your outdoor activities for when it’s coolest, like in the morning or evening hours. Staying hydrated is very important; drink plenty of fluids even before feeling thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already behind in fluid replacement. Eating fruits also helps with hydration. Avoid energy drinks and alcohol or anything else that will cause dehydration. If you get too hot, make sure you stop what you are doing and find a place to cool off.

Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness. Symptoms include heavy sweating, headache, thirst, nausea or vomiting, weakness, dizziness, confusion, fainting or passing out and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, move to a cool place; loosen clothes; put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath. If in doubt, call 911 right away as a heat stroke is a medical emergency.

Never Leave a Child in Vehicles. Every year, children die unnecessarily due to being left in hot cars. A car can heat quickly to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open.

Focus on Water Safety. Never leave children unattended around swimming pools or bodies of water. Make sure they wear a properly fitted life jacket. If children have diarrhea, they should not go swimming as they can spread it to others. Remind kids not to swallow water at the pool or splash pad as it could be contaminated with germs.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Delaware County Public Health at 563-927-7551.