People often don flip-flops in the summer because it's too hot to wear other kinds of footwear. The reality is that flip-flops don't offer the best support. If you do wear flip-flops, wear ones that are made of high-quality leather which are sturdier.
Appropriate places to wear flip-flops include the pool, beach, and any locker room, where they help protect you against athlete's foot. Flip-flops are not good for going on long walks and you shouldn't wear them while playing sports. Wearing flimsy footwear during these activities may increase your risk of spraining your ankle.
Bear encounters are rare, but they can happen. If you encounter a bear:
- Make yourself appear as large as possible.
- Wave your arms in the air slowly so you don't resemble prey.
- Always face the bear and do not turn your back on the animal.
- Avoid growling or making bear-like sounds.
- Speak in calm, low tones.
- Move away from the bear slowly. Avoid running. Move sideways.
It is very rare for bears to attack people. You can play dead if you encounter a brown bear or a grizzly bear. Always try to escape from black bears or fight back.
Thousands of people are injured by lawn mowers annually. Lawn mower blades are sharp and they move quickly. Avoid injury by keeping your lawn mower in good working condition. Make sure it is off before you look it over. Refrain from using your hands to clear debris away from the blades. Guard your hands, feet, legs, and eyes. If you have a riding mower, go up and down slopes instead of sideways to avoid tipping over. Do not allow kids to ride with you on a riding mower. Ask kids to stay indoors while you are mowing the lawn.
Shark attacks are rare. The biggest danger you're likely to face at the beach is sunburn. It's still a good idea to follow these summer water safety tips to decrease the risk of shark attacks:
- Do not go swimming in the ocean at twilight when sharks are most active.
- Avoid swimming in the ocean when you are bleeding.
- Be aware sharks are sometimes found in shallow water. Sandbars may trap them in sandbars during low tide.
- Avoid wearing shiny jewelry when you swim in the ocean. It may reflect light and appear similar to fish scales to a shark.
Everyone loves summer picnics, but eating food that's been left out too long may make you sick.
- Keep hot foods hot. Keep cold foods cold.
- Wash dishes, platters, and utensils that come into contact with raw meat thoroughly before reusing.
- If foods are left at room temperature for 2 hours or more, don't eat them.
- If foods are left in temperatures that are 90 degrees or more for one hour, don't eat them.
Before you trek to your family beach vacation, review ocean summer safety for your kids. Rip currents are dangerous currents that can pull the strongest of swimmers out into deeper water. Watch out for shore breaks. This describes waves that break directly onto the sand. They can throw you onto the ground, potentially causing spinal cord injuries and other types of injuries. Always swim or surf on a beach where there's a lifeguard. Ask the lifeguard about the water conditions before you go in. Watch out for sneaker waves. These are found on the West coast. They refer to waves that come out of nowhere and pull beachgoers into the ocean. These types of waves mostly happen in the winter. They can also occur during warmer seasons.
Brain-eating amoebas are microorganisms that live in bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and hot springs. They enter the body through the nose and may cause a rare, deadly brain infection.
Avoid swimming in warm fresh water to prevent the infection. If you do go swimming, keep your head above water. Wear nose clips if you are going to jump into the water to prevent water going up your nose.
Grilling goes hand in hand with the summer season. Follow these rules to stay safe:
- Do not allow grease to build up on the grill.
- Keep pets and kids away from the grill, especially when there's a flame.
- Keep the grill away from trees, leaves, and buildings.
- Never leave the grill unattended, especially when there's a flame or it is still hot after use.
Does yours use propane? Test for leaks before the season starts. If you ever smell gas while you're cooking, get away from the grill and call the fire department.
You can't talk about outdoor safety tips for summer without mentioning mosquitoes. These insects can spread disease including West Nile virus. Many people who get the virus do not have any symptoms. Rarely, approximately less than 1% of people may get very serious or even fatal symptoms from the virus.
Avoid West Nile virus by avoiding mosquito bites. Put on insect repellent before heading outdoors. It is best to wear long pants and long sleeves when you are outdoors between dusk to dawn.
Remove any areas of standing water from around your home. This includes buckets and birdbaths. Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water.
Summers often go hand in hand with going barefoot, but it's important to watch your step. Puncture wounds may happen if you step on a nail, toothpick, glass, or seashells. These wounds may become infected. If you develop a wound that is hot, swollen, and has drainage, seek medical attention right away. Discuss your tetanus shot status with your doctor if you get a puncture wound.
When talking about summer safety, sun protection is near the top of the list. Wear sunscreen whenever you go outside, even if it is cloudy. Reapply sunscreen every time you swim or sweat or at least every three hours. The sun's rays are strongest midday between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. Wear long sleeves and long pants to protect the skin on your arms and legs. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that protects your face, neck, and ears. You may think a tan looks good, but it is still sun damage.
Summer heat can be uncomfortable, but it may also make you sick. Children and the elderly need to be especially careful when temperatures are high because their systems do not cool off as well.
Beat the heat by wearing loose clothing. Do not exercise during the hottest times during the day. Drink plenty of water and make sure to replenish your electrolytes. Heatstroke may manifest as symptoms like nausea, cramps, and pale moist skin. If you or someone you are with begin to experience these symptoms, go to a cooler area, hydrate, and apply cool cloths to the skin. If you don't feel better or experience more serious symptoms like rapid heart rate, fever, confusion, behavior changes, convulsions, or warm dry skin, call 911 right away.
Guard against pool accidents by keeping a fence around the pool. Make sure kids know how to swim. Supervise children while they are swimming. Do not drink alcohol while you are in or around the pool. Alcohol may impair your judgment and alter your sense of balance.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
- Science Source/Getty Images
- American Podiatric Medical Association: “Flip-Flops.”
- National Park Service: “Staying Safe Around Bears.”
- Consumer Product Safety Commission: “Power Lawn Mowers.”
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: “Nine Dangers at the Beach.”
- FDA: “Handling Food Safely While Eating Outdoors.”
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration: “Story Map: Play It Safe.”
- CDC: “Parasites – Naegleria fowleri – Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) – Amebic Encephalitis.”
- National Fire Protection Association: “Grilling.”
- CDC: “West Nile Virus.”
- American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: “Foot Health Facts: Puncture Wounds.”
- KidsHealth.org: “Sun Safety.”
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Heat-Related Illnesses (Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke.”
- Mayo Clinic: “Heatstroke.”
- CDC: “Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts.”
- American Podiatric Medical Association: "Flip-Flops."
- National Park Service: "Staying Safe Around Bears."
- Consumer Product Safety Commission Fact Sheet: "Power Lawn Mowers."
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: "7 Dangers at the Beach."
- FDA: "Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely -- Food Facts."
- Washington State Department of Ecology: "Sneaker Waves."
- CDC: "Naegleria fowleri -- Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM) -- Swimming," "West Nile Virus," and "Unintentional Drowning -- Get the Facts."
- National Fire Protection Association: "Grilling Safety Tips."
- American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons: "Foot Health Facts -- Puncture Wounds."
- Mayo Clinic: "Heat Stroke -- Prevention."
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Heat-Related Illnesses (Heat Cramps, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke."