Summer Safety Tips

Summer is a great time to enjoy outdoor activities. Whether its swimming, barbequing, hiking, or just relaxing on the patio, it's important to take steps to stay safe while enjoying summer fun.

Protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays is important all year round. But UV rays from sunlight are greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America. There are several options for protection from UV radiation:

  •  Seek shade when outdoors, especially between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • Wear a hat with a brim wide enough to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Use sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher. Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off.

"It is important to stay physically active for good health, and outdoor activities help us achieve that. While doing so, it is important for us all to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of UV rays. Staying in the shade when possible and putting sunscreen on anytime you go outside will greatly reduce that risk."

Another important safety measure when enjoying the outdoors this summer is mosquito protection. Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can make you really sick. Protecting yourself and your family from mosquito bites is as easy as remembering the six Ds; Drain, Dawn and Dusk, Dress, Defend, and Door. DRAIN any standing water that may produce mosquitos. DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outdoors, those are the times mosquitos are most active. DRESS appropriately, wear long sleeves and pants when outside. DEFEND yourself and your family by using an effective insect repellent; be sure to follow label directions. DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition and kept on windows to prevent mosquitos from entering the home.

Plan on barbequing this summer? Plan to be safe, food poisoning peaks in the summer months when warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to flourish. Dirty hands and prep surfaces can carry germs; wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Do not co-mingle raw and cooked food. Raw meat juices can spread germs to cooked food. Place cooked meats on a clean plate and discard marinated and sauces that have come in contact with raw meat juices. The CDC advises using a meat thermometer to ensure grilled and smoked meats have reached the recommended internal temperatures to kill harmful germs.

CDC recommended cooking temperatures:

145° F – whole cuts of beef, pork, fish, lamb and veal
160° F – hamburgers and other ground beef
165° F – all poultry and pre-cooked meats like hot dogs
250° F - 300° F  - inside smoker

No matter what fun summer activity you and your family enjoy be sure to take steps to stay safe and healthy.

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