Your Health: Summer Safety

Summer is here, and people are spending more time outside. RN Karen McIntosh, with Washington Regional, shares what you need to know before heading outdoors in high temperatures, in today's Your Health.

Q: Summer is here, and people are spending their time outside. What tips do you have to prevent injuries while working in your yard?
Watch the temperature and pace yourself. This is especially true if you aren't used to working in high temperatures. Take frequent breaks in a cool environment, pre-hydrate before outdoor activities, avoid alcohol and sugary drinks. Stop working outside and get into a cool environment if you develop muscle cramps, heavy sweating, or lightheadedness.
Wear appropriate clothing while operating lawn machinery. Sturdy shoes, long pants, safety goggles, and hearing protection should be used. Do not allow children to operate machinery or ride with an adult on a riding lawn mower.
Wear gloves to reduce the risk of skin irritations while working in the garden.
Keep tools, chemicals, and equipment out of the reach of children.
Follow the instructions and warning labels when using chemicals or lawn equipment.

Q: How do I avoid being bitten by an insect or a snake?

To avoid stings, wear light-colored clean clothing and avoid perfumed soaps or shampoo.
Remain still if an insect is flying around you. Do not try to swat at the insect.
Use an insect repellant containing DEET. Tuck your pants into your socks to help avoid tick bites. Check yourself and your family for ticks after returning from an outdoor activity.
To avoid snake bites, avoid snakes. Stay away from long grass, piles of leaves, or wood piles where snakes may be resting. Avoid climbing on rocks. Wear boots and long pants when working outdoors and leather gloves when handling brush and debris. Snakes tend to be more active at night and in warm weather. Never try to handle a snake.

Q: Do you have any tips for keeping children safe around water?

Children and adults should were a lifejacket at all times when in or around water.
Never leave a child unattended near the water. Children should be within arm's reach of an adult while in the water and young children should close enough to touch.

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