By Kirsten Licht, MS, health promotions analyst
Summer is the perfect time to spend more time outdoors, getting some fresh air, soaking up some Vitamin D and enjoying time with friends and family.
If your summer activities take you outside this season, keep these simple health and safety tips in mind:
Don’t neglect your sunscreen. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15-50 when you are outside for 30 minutes or more. Have trouble remembering to reapply? No sweat! Just set a timer on your phone reminding you to reapply every 90 minutes. If you’re in a wooded area, remember to use insect repellant and wear a hat if possible. Always check for ticks at the end of the day.
Protect your body, inside and out. If you’re biking or driving a motorcycle, wear a helmet. It might not be a fashion statement, but it could save your life. In fact, 83 percent of those killed in bicycle accidents last year had no helmet. Drinking plenty of water when you’re outdoors is just as important. Be sure to drink before you feel thirsty and stick to water if you can.
Be smart when eating outdoors. Don’t eat meat unless it’s cooked through, and be sure cold food stays cold until it’s time to eat. Don’t allow food to sit out more than two hours — when in doubt, throw it out. Avoid cross contamination by washing your hands thoroughly and often.
Take extra steps to drink safely during summer activities. Research shows that up to 70 percent of all water recreation deaths of teens and adults involve the use of alcohol. With that in mind, remember to wear a life jacket at all times on the water, use extra caution around fire pits/grills and fireworks, eat more frequently, drink plenty of water and use a designated sober boat driver when boating.
For more summer safety tips and tricks, check out these helpful websites: