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Paying attention to 4 key things can keep you safer and healthier this summer

Paying attention to 4 key things can keep you safer and healthier this summer

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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

The beginning of summer brings many perks, but there are also many health and safety hazards that can be attributed to the season, like extreme sunburn and dehydration. Here are four common summer pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Extreme sunburn:

As the UV Index increases, so does the chance of severe sunburn. According to Revere Health, a UV Index of 6 or higher can result in severe harm if you are not properly protected. Symptoms of sunburn include swelling, blisters, headache or fever, and redness. Repeated sunburn can result in additional complications such as premature skin aging, skin cancer, and eye damage. Some precautions you can take to prevent damage are using sunscreen with a 30 or better SPF, avoiding sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are the strongest, avoiding tanning beds, and wearing sunglasses or eye protection when exposed to UV rays.

Paying attention to 4 key things can keep you safer and healthier this summer
Photo: Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com

Dehydration:

Proper hydration is critical year-round, but the importance intensifies even more in the summer months. A lack of water intake can result in many different ailments like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke. Of these three, heat stroke is the most severe and can result in serious complications. Dehydration can also lead to seizures because your body's electrolyte balance can be disrupted.

The best way to prevent dehydration during the summer is to drink more fluids than usual consistently throughout the day; don't wait until you're excessively thirsty to drink because at that point you are already dehydrated. Health experts commonly recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (8x8 rule), but you'll want to drink even more, if possible, during the summer. Eating foods high in water like fruits and vegetables can also help keep hydration levels high.

Paying attention to 4 key things can keep you safer and healthier this summer
Photo: ivanko8/stock.adobe.com

Food safety:

Barbecues and cookouts are a mainstay of summer festivities, but it is important to keep food safety in mind when attending or hosting these events. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 48 million Americans get sick from a food-related illness per year. Many of these sicknesses are caused by poor food handling or eating uncooked meat.

Some countermeasures that can be taken are to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood chilled until ready to grill. Keep them in the fridge or insulated cooler, not on the counter, at a temperature below 40 degrees F. You'll also want to put leftovers in the freezer or fridge within two hours of cooking, or one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees outside.

Fireworks:

With Independence Day on the horizon, people from everywhere will soon flock to local stores to purchase fireworks. But, especially in a dry state like Utah, it is important to understand fire safety. Some tips that can help keep everyone safe are wearing protective eyewear, keeping a tub of water nearby, soaking used fireworks in water for a couple of hours before throwing them away, and never holding lit fireworks in your hands. You also never want to re-light a "dud" firework if it doesn't light the first time.

Although sparklers are very common, they are the most dangerous kind of firework. They burn at around 2,000 degrees and account for more than 25% of firework injuries. If you or your kids do use sparklers, be sure to wear close-toed shoes, handle them standing up, and never toss, throw, or wave them.

How Revere Health can help:

Revere Health Urgent Care locations are open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to treat many common summer ailments such as minor burns, dehydration, heat exhaustion, foodborne illness, and more. Before heading to the emergency room, consider visiting urgent care or your primary care doctor to help you get back to enjoying your favorite summer moments. To find a location near you, please visit www.reverehealth.com.

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