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Five Tips for Staying Safe in the Summer

July 9, 2024

As the summer sun beckons us outdoors, it’s important to prioritize safety while enjoying the season’s many activities. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, hiking in the mountains, or hosting a backyard barbecue, these tips can help you stay safe and make the most of your summer.

During summer, it's important to prioritize safety while enjoying the season's many activities. Five tips to stay safe and enjoy your summer.

1. Stay Hydrated

One of the most critical aspects of summer safety is staying hydrated. With higher temperatures and increased physical activity, your body loses fluids more quickly. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and more if you’re active outdoors. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration. Always carry a water bottle when you’re out and about.

2. Protect Your Skin

Sunburns can ruin your day and increase your risk of skin cancer. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every two hours and more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts, and seek shade during the peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

3. Exercise Caution Around Water

Water-related activities are a staple of summer fun but come with risks. Never swim alone and always supervise children near water. If you’re boating, ensure everyone wears a life jacket, regardless of swimming ability. Be aware of local water conditions and weather forecasts, and avoid swimming in strong currents or during storms.

4. Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are severe conditions that can occur when your body overheats. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. To prevent heat-related illnesses, take breaks in the shade or air-conditioned spaces, wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothing, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day.

5. Practice Safe Grilling

Summer barbecues are a beloved tradition but can also be hazardous. Always grill in well-ventilated areas away from structures and flammable materials. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby, and never leave the grill unattended. Use long-handled tools to avoid burns, and ensure meats are cooked to safe temperatures to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Taking these precautions allows you to enjoy all that summer offers while minimizing risks. Stay hydrated, protect your skin, exercise water safety, prevent heat-related illnesses, and grill responsibly. With some planning and mindfulness, your summer can be enjoyable and safe.

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References

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Extreme Heat. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.html
  • American Red Cross. (2021). Water Safety. Retrieved from https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety.html
  • Skin Cancer Foundation. (2021). Sun Safety Tips for Summer. Retrieved from https://www.skincancer.org/press-archive/sun-safety-tips-for-summer/

Are you looking for a great place to stay active during the summer? Consider joining the Duke Health & Fitness Center.

The Duke Health & Fitness Center offers a serene environment with natural light and views of Duke Forest for various exercise and wellness activities. Free parking is available. Members can participate in group classes, use cardio and strength equipment, run on indoor or outdoor tracks, or swim in the saline pool. After exercising, unwind in the whirlpool or sauna.

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