Simple precautions allow safe, fun summerDear Readers: Recently most of your questions have involved summer safety tips. I will cover some of the dangers that we all encounter in summer and try to advise you on how best to avoid or mitigate any damage.
By: Dr. Carl Miller, Superior Telegram
Recently most of your questions have involved summer safety tips. I will cover some of the dangers that we all encounter in summer and try to advise you on how best to avoid or mitigate any damage.
I will begin with hydration. Being hydrated is very important at all times especially in the summertime. Even if you do not feel especially thirsty, it is important to drink nonalcoholic fluids. If you are exercising you should drink two to four glasses each hour. According to Easy Summer Safety Tips — CBS News, liquids with alcohol or sugar will cause the loss of body fluids and should be avoided. Beverages with alcohol or caffeine can act as diuretics and cause fluids to be excreted. Since very cold drinks can cause stomach cramps, they too should be avoided.
HealthChildren.Org recommends that children be well hydrated before any physical activity. They should not go into a physical activity feeling thirsty. When they are exercising in the heat, they should always have water, or a sports drink at their disposal, and they should drink every 20 minutes when they are exercising in the heat. If it is excessively hot, sweating a lot, or if their exercise session is prolonged or very strenuous, they need to increase their intake of fluids. At first water is fine, but after an hour of exercise children should probably switch to a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink. This will replace electrolytes that they lose in sweat and will give them carbohydrates for energy.
Sun exposure is another safety hazard in the summertime. HealthyChildren.Org has some good recommendations concerning this. They recommend wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. I would personally recommend wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Protect yourself and your children with sunscreen both on sunny and cloudy days. Stay in the shade as much as possible and limit exposure to the sun during peak intensity hours, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is important to apply enough sunscreen, and it should be reapplied every two hours or after swimming. Some sunscreens fade with sweat, so if you or your child are sweating you should apply more sunscreen. Keep in mind that water and sand reflect UV rays and can cause sunburn to occur more quickly.
Remember that clothing is the first line of defense when dealing with harmful rays of the sun. Cotton clothing with a tight weave, a hat with a brim and good sunglasses will help. Remember, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. If you expose your skin to the sun, without protection, all you will gain is premature aging of the skin.
If you do get a sunburn, you need to realize there is no fast cure. Keeping the area moistened with aloe or other lotions may help, but it will probably take days for your skin to heal.
According to Easy Summer Safety Tips — CBS News, if a family member has a body temperature above 103 degrees, and red, hot, dry skin with no sweating, they may be suffering from heat stroke. When sweating stops under these circumstances it means that the sweating mechanism is failing and the body cannot cool itself down. Dizziness, nausea, headache and a rapid pulse are serious and you should call 911. Under these circumstances, you should try to cool the victim down as quickly as possible.
In Tips for a Safe Summer, Tracey Brand, a registered dietitian at Froedtert Hospital, lists some helpful ideas for people who enjoy cooking outdoors. Meat, poultry and fish should be defrosted in the refrigerator and should not be brought outdoors until the grill is ready. Bacteria can grow when you let meat sit outside while you prepare the grill. Always check the temperature of the meat on the inside because bacteria can still grow in meat that is undercooked even though it looks done on the outside. Check the thickest part of the meat, and the following temperatures should be reached for safe consumption: 15 seconds at 165 degrees for poultry, 3 minutes at 145 degrees for beef and pork roast, 15 seconds at 145 for ground meat, and 15 seconds at 145 degrees for fish. Keep all mayonnaise or even cheese based salads at 40 degrees or below until they are served. If food has been out for more than four hours discard it.
Cover your soft drinks to avoid having bees or wasps fly into them. Sweet beverages attract these insects and if you accidentally ingest one of them and get stung in your throat it is extremely serious and potentially fatal.
During the summer our sleeping patterns change, as well as the way we eat, exercise and have fun. We become more relaxed and spend more time outdoors and near water. We are entitled to relaxation and fun, but above all, we must remain alert and vigilant about safety concerns. I have only touched on a few here, but we all know there are many more, including water safety, traffic dangers, poisonous plants, bicycle accidents, fire issues, etc. The list goes on and on and all we can do is to be vigilant and make sure that we are careful. If we are unsure about a situation we need to investigate it and make sure that it is safe.
Remember, it is possible to be aware of our circumstances, take proper precautions and still have a fun and relaxing summer.
Please send your questions and comments to Lake Superior Chiropractic, c/o Dr. Carl Miller, 2121 E. Fifth St., Superior, Wi 54880 or e-mail at Cmill005@yahoo.com.