6 summer safety tips
Michigan, it’s officially summer. And if getting out of your house sounds appealing, you’re not alone.
At this time, however, hospitals and urgent cares are typically bracing for what they call “trauma season.” Emergency rooms often see twice the number of injuries and trauma they see in winter, with the most common injuries being car crashes, severe sunburn, water-sports injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion and falls.
And of course, COVID-19 is still a concern.
So, what activities are safe for you and your family? Deciding what you’re comfortable with is a personal decision, made to protect yourself and the people you love. But if you’re ready for an outdoor adventure, here’s how you can stay safe this summer.
- To lower risk of COVID-19, steer clear of peak times at the beach or pool. It’s best to enjoy early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Keep six feet of distance, and know that if you can’t do that safely, it’s time to head home. In all other public places, we suggest you still wear a mask, wash your hands regularly and practice social distancing.
- To stop dehydration, water is your best drink of choice. Do not wait until you are thirsty. Drink plenty of water during activity especially in warm weather. Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine. Eat fruits and vegetables which have a lot of water, such as watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, peaches, eggplants and spinach.
- Use high SPF sunscreen to protect against sunburn. Reapply sunscreen often especially if you are sweating or doing activities in the water. Stay in the shade during peak hours (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Keep children in the shade as much as possible. Cover your skin and wear a hat.
- Limit physical activity during the hottest peak hours of the day to reduce risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Get used to the hot weather by slowly increasing the time you spend outside.
- To avoid water-related injuries, always bring a buddy when engaging in water sports. And follow the lifeguards’ instructions. If you have children, make sure an adult is supervising. Get used to the temperature difference in and out of the water. Don't drink alcoholic beverages before water activities.
- To avoid road trip troubles, make sure all car upkeep is done before you leave. Allow plenty of time to get to your destination and drive during off-peak hours. With COVID-19 still spreading, try to limit your stops at public restrooms. Bring cleaning supplies (like disinfectant wipes) and snacks (rather than eating at restaurants). Last, but certainly not least, if you’ll be staying with friends or extended family, talk it over together. Best case scenario: You all agree to limit your exposure in the weeks ahead of your adventure.
If you find yourself with a minor injury or illness this summer, call or visit your primary care doctor. Or, use our 24/7 telehealth services.