Weekly Feature

2015-05-27 / Editorials

Take precautions to stay safe this summer

Bee Editorial

With summer almost underway, we should take every opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while the warm weather lasts. However, it’s important to also take the proper precautions against some of the dangers posed by the season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infants, children up to 4 years of age, and people who are 65 and older are at the greatest risk for heat-related illnesses.

Hot temperatures also can affect adults who are participating in strenuous physical activities.

The CDC advises people to refrain from leaving infants, children and pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open. Infants and children should be dressed in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing, and outdoor activities should be scheduled for the morning or evening hours. Residents should also take care to wear sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 15. Sunscreen helps prevent sunburn and also can prevent skin cancer that could develop later in life.

Adults who are exercising outside or working around the yard should make sure to keep hydrated and take frequent breaks in shady or cool areas. Avoid drinking alcohol or beverages with a high amount of sugar because they cause dehydration, according to the CDC.

With a rise in temperatures comes a rise in visits to the public pools or the beach. Drowning is the number one cause of death among children ages 1 to 4, excluding birth defects, according to the CDC.

Parents should always supervise their children when they are in or around water. If you’re at a public pool, make sure there is a lifeguard on duty. Parents should teach their children how to swim by having them take formal swimming classes. Adults should also plan for emergencies by learning CPR.

If you have a pool at home, make sure it complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws. In many cases a pool must be surrounded by a fence and have gates that are self-closing and self-latching. Pool alarms may also be required.

If you plan to visit a beach this summer, make sure the water is safe to swim in. Oftentimes, there can be a dangerous undertow that could draw swimmers out to deep water. If you are caught in a current, the CDC advises that you swim parallel to the shore until you have passed through it. For those who have boats, make sure all passengers are wearing a life jacket when out on the water.

For more information on how to stay safe this summer, visit www.cdc.gov.

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