It’s Summertime! Have a Healthy and Fun Summer.

June 14, 2024

Here are some tips for a safe summer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses.  Sunburn is painful and significantly increases your risk of sun cancer.  Use a sunscreen with ultraviolet A/ultraviolet B (UVA/UVB) coverage and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, applying it at least 15 minutes before going outside.  Reapply sunscreen every couple of hours, particularly if you are sweating or playing in the water. Be particularly aware of higher elevations and reflective surfaces such as concrete, sand, and water as they increase your ultraviolet light exposure.  Finally, wear sunglasses to minimize your chances of getting cataracts. 

Water safety is key. On average 4000 people drown in the United States every year.  Our water in the Northwest is generally cold all year round so watch for hypothermia and wear a coast guard approved lifejacket even if you are a strong swimmer when boating or floating a river.  In addition, avoid alcohol consumption while participating in water activities as it increases the risk of drowning.

Watch for food safety. You’ll enjoy your summer picnic more if you don’t get sick, so don’t leave your food outside for more than two hours and keep that potato salad below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prevent heat-related illness.  The symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, and muscle cramps.  If left untreated, heat stroke can occur with symptoms including confusion, fever, rapid pulse and breathing, headache, and fainting.  Avoid heat-related illness by limiting physical activity during the hottest time of the day, drinking plenty of water, staying out of intense sun, and wearing loose-fitting and lightweight clothes.  If you or someone else starts to develop symptoms of heat-related illness, stop your activity and rest, move to a cooler location, and drink plenty of water.  Seek medical attention for confusion, loss of consciousness, or a body temperature of 104 F or greater.