5 Tips for Staying Healthy This Summer
Summer is one of the busiest times of year for hospitals around the country. Here are 5 things you should do to keep yourself, and your loved ones, healthy!
1. Sunscreen? Just wear it.
Wear sunscreen all the time: Everyone (we hope) puts on sunscreen at the pool or the beach. But the truth is, it's a good idea to wear sunscreen whenever you're outside -- when it's sunny, when it's cloudy, and even when you're just driving in your car. And be sure to cover up.
SPF: An SPF of at least 15 is recommended by the FDA!
How much? You may have heard this before, and it’s true -- the average person (even a child) needs about 1 ounce of sunscreen per application. That’s about enough to fill up a shot glass, so don’t skimp.
2. Stay safe in the great outdoors.
It’s important to take care when you're on the water, road, and trails!
Biking: Wear a helmet and obey traffic signals! Around 500,000 people are treated in ERs each year for cycling-related injuries -- the majority being head injuries.
Boating: Make sure the operator of the boat is properly trained. In 2017, 81% of boating deaths occurred when the operator was not equipped with boating safety instruction.
Swimming: Be vigilant around bodies of water and supervise all children. Ten people die every day from accidental drowning, and it is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1-4.
3. Be very cautious with fireworks.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 60% of all fireworks injuries take place at this time of year. So there are some safety tips you should know now:
Kids and sparklers: Did you know that sparklers can burn at more than 2,000 degrees? That's hot enough to melt some metals. Be extra careful when kids have sparklers!
Where we point them: One of the two biggest causes of fireworks injuries is improper use. And one of the most common improper uses is simply to point a firework at another person. If you do light fireworks, light them one at a time; back away quickly; and be sure to have water on hand in case something goes wrong.
Malfunctions: The other biggest cause of fireworks injuries is when that $2 fuse you paid for just doesn't light. According to the CPSC, never try to relight those fireworks; soak them with water and throw them away.
4. Stay hydrated.
No, you don't need to drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. That's a myth: Some people might need more, while others might need less.
But the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine does say the average man needs about 15.5 cups of fluids per day from both food and liquids. Women need about 11.5 cups. That's a lot -- and dehydration can send you to the hospital.
So drink water, and lots of it, whenever you're thirsty. That's especially true in summer, when it's hot out and your body naturally needs more water.
5. Avoid food poisoning.
We've all been there: You're at a barbecue. You've made some hot dogs, some hamburgers, some veggies or tofu. They’ve been sitting out for a while, but you're hungry again.
According to the FDA, don’t eat them -- or you’re risking a trip to the ER with food poisoning:
Hot food should stay at 140 degrees, and stay there by wrapping it in an insulated container.
Cold food should stay at 40 degrees or below until it's served -- keep it on ice and away from the sun!
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