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Tips for protecting yourself and your family this summer

June 29, 2017 at midnight

As the mercury rises, hospitals brace themselves. Known as the 'trauma season', the three months of summer bring an onslaught of injuries and illnesses. In April, the number of bicycle injuries starts to climb. As the season turns to summer, incidences of swimming and water play injuries, lawn mower injuries, and pest-related illnesses multiply. To help you avoid summertime problems, we have outlined some of the most common concerns and what you can do to avoid them.

Pest-Related Problems

Outside pests—including mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting pests—can do more than annoy. In addition to the well-known Zika virus, mosquitoes can spread the West Nile disease, Dengue fever, and Japanese encephalitis. Ticks can harbor Lyme disease, meningoencephalitis, tick-borne spotted fevers, and babesiosis. Other biting insects carry their own risks as well.

To reduce the likelihood of insect bites, it's best to:

  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET;
  • Cover exposed skin with hats, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks;
  • Opt for accommodations that have air conditioning or solid window and door screens so bugs can't get in;
  • Use a permethrin-treated bed net that tucks under your mattress if sleeping somewhere that bugs can enter;
  • If outdoors, utilize area repellents that contain metofluthrin or allethrin;
  • Contact a pest control company to undergo preventative measures at home.

Heat Concerns

When a person's body temperature escalates, and the system for controlling it becomes overloaded, trouble will be imminent. Children under the age of 4 are at the greatest risk of heat-related complications.

Prevention is the best way to avoid serious trouble, including:

  • Never leave infants, children, or animals in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open;
  • Schedule activity in the morning or late evening, when the sun is minimal;
  • Wear loose, light-colored, lightweight clothing;
  • Stay cool in tepid showers, baths, and swimming areas;
  • Stay hydrated at all times.

Water Safety

Approximately ten people in the United States die every day due to unintentional drowning. Of them, two are under the age of 14. Other than death, drowning can cause long-term brain damage with such complications such as a permanent vegetative state, memory loss, poor coordination, and learning disabilities.

To stay safe:

  • Take part in formal swimming lessons, especially children age 1 to 4;
  • Learn CPR;
  • Consistently wear life jackets, particularly if boating;
  • Supervise any non-swimmers carefully when near water;
  • Always swim with a friend;
  • Avoid relying on floaties or other air-filled and foam-filled toys as a safety device;
  • Provide one-on-one supervision for anyone who has a seizure disorder;
  • Don't let swimmers hold their breath for long periods of time underwater;
  • Avoid consuming drugs and alcohol while in the water.

Summertime should be filled with laughter and leisure. Follow these tips and stay safe!



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