It’s officially summer! Here in the NEK it may seem like we wait all year for summer and then before we know it the leaves are changing and we are waking up to a frost. With it being such a short season, it makes it all that much more important that we get out there to soak up the sunshine and enjoy some summer fun. Before you run out the door, take a few moments to plan your best summer and your safest summer yet!
Summers are actually quite dangerous! For starters the sun which we all crave a little more of this time of year can actually harm you if you aren’t practicing safe sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, getting just one blistering sunburn when you are a kid doubles your chances of developing melanoma. Adding on to those childhood sunburns with adult ones isn’t just dangerous, it’s irresponsible. Your skin is your largest organ and protector of your body. Treat it well! If you refuse to use sunscreen, cover up with layers of clothing, hats and sunglasses, or just play it smart by staying out of the sun.
Outside of craving the sun it just doesn’t feel like summer unless you visit at least one beach or enjoy some time by a pool (with tons of sunscreen of course). With such warm days we can quickly forget that our lakes, ponds and rivers haven’t had time to warm up yet. The National Center for Cold Water Safety shares that cold water can kill a person in less than a minute. They say it’s a scientific and medical fact that most people have trouble understanding, “because they have no personal experience actually being in cold water. When they hear or think about 50F (10C) water, it doesn’t sound particularly cold – or dangerous – because they’re mentally comparing it to 50F (10C) air. It’s a big mistake that gets a lot of people killed each year.” The NCFCWS suggests you should go in any water temperature below 70F with caution.
Between avoiding the sun and being cautious around the water you also want to remember that in warm weather we can become dehydrated quicker than ever. With warmer temps causing us to sweat more, working around the yard and participating in summer outdoor activities, you would be shocked at how much and how fast your body can lose water. The old wives tale is true – if you are feeling thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Add in not only more water, but watery foods to keep you hydrated and feeling well, which is a great excuse to eat some summer produce like watermelon, peaches and berries. Dehydration can quickly become an emergency, so if you are worried about someone or yourself, seek help.
Lastly, as we start to celebrate summer, let’s remember that under no circumstances should children, pets or really anything alive be left in a closed up car even for a minute. Studies show that temperatures in the car can rise as fast as 10 degrees a minute. So as much as you just want to run in and out of the store, if you aren’t willing to bring kids with you, don’t go. Pets also do not deserve to be tortured or perhaps killed by irresponsible adults. Do not leave people or pets in the car – period. If you have a little one and you might forget (it happens) keep a post-it on your steering wheel to remind you to get them out of the car first thing. Nothing is too silly of a reminder if it is going to save a life.
All these safety reminders are not just for the first day of summer, but June is also National Safety Month. When it comes to safety it is always worth your time and energy to make the best choices for you and your family. Choosing to be irresponsible may not only cost you your health or someone else’s, but it may cost a life. Make good choices this summer. Take the time and make the effort to enjoy everything you can in a safe and healthy way. Let’s all make a pact to be safer than ever for this fun season of sun and sand. Raise up that water (To keep you hydrated remember) and cheers to a Happy and Safe Summer!