Tag: summer safety

Don’t Let Sunburn Derail Summer Fun

Many people find it impossible to think about summer without conjuring visions of spending endless hours outdoors from morning until evening, whether beachside, on the open water or even floating in a backyard pool. Although a certain measure of sun exposure is required for some natural functions of the body, it’s well documented that too much time in the sun can be hazardous to one’s health. That’s why summer frolickers need to exercise considerable caution each time they step outside.

Taking sunburn for granted can be a big mistake. Many people wouldn’t risk burns from a hot stove or open fire, but they won’t think twice about being unprotected under the very hot rays of the sun. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than one-third of adults and nearly 70 percent of children admit to suffering from sunburn within the past year. Depending on the intensity of the sun and the amount of time spent outside, sunburn can be a first- or second-degree burn. In first-degree burns, damage affects the topmost layer of skin. However, sunburn can even affect deeper layers and cause blistering in addition to redness and pain.

Sunburn also can cause some irreparable damage that goes unseen. According to WebMD, ultraviolet light from the sun can alter DNA, prematurely aging skin or even contributing to skin cancers. It can take years before symptoms become noticeable. Therefore, it is best for people of all ages to exercise caution when spending time in the sun.

Sunburn is one of the most easily prevented summertime ailments. It’s also important to note that sunburns are not just limited to the hot weather or when it is sunny outside. Ultraviolet damage can occur at any time of the year, and also from artificial UV sources, such as tanning beds. Preventing sunburn is simple.

  • The Mayo Clinic says the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so schedule outdoor activities for other times of day. Otherwise, limit exposure to the sun and take frequent breaks in the shade.
  • Wear protective clothing that covers the arms and legs. Some outdoor gear is designed to offer sun protection. Tightly woven fabrics tend to help the most.
  • Apply – and reapply – sunscreen. Look for products that offer an SPF of 15 or greater. The American Academy of Dermatology actually recommends an SPF of 30 or greater. Make sure the product is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen thoroughly, paying attention to the tops of feet, hands and other places that tend to go untreated. Reapply every two hours or more frequently, if necessary.
  • Base tans do not protect the skin. Research does not support the habit of getting a tan to prevent subsequent sunburn.
  • Protect the face and eyes by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and highly rated UV protection sunglasses.

The Skin Cancer Foundation says a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had five or more sunburns. Use protection, stay hydrated and play it smart to enjoy summer to the fullest. HW176039

 
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Safety In And Around The Pool

Beating the heat in a pool is one of the most popular warm-weather activities. Swimming attracts people of all ages because of its various benefits. In addition to being an enjoyable recreational activity, swimming also is a low-impact way to exercise. Having a backyard pool makes swimming and outdoor fun that much easier.

Although exact numbers are difficult to come by, various sources indicate there are approximately 4.5 million residential swimming pools across the United States. While it once was relatively rare to find a backyard swimming pool in Canada, things have changed — especially in Quebec. No other province comes close to matching Quebec for backyard pools, which has well over 300,000 backyard pools, more than Ontario (which has five million more people). Quebec also has more pools per capita than almost anywhere else in North America according to numbers compiled by Pool & Spa Marketing magazine.

Pools can be enjoyable places to gather and make for the focal points of yards, but they require careful use so fun is not overshadowed by tragedy. Unfortunately, young children have the highest risk of pool injury or drowning, with more than 200 youngsters drowning in swimming pools each year. The American Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® have partnered to educate home pool users. The following guidelines are important when adults and children are enjoying the pool.

Create pool barriers.

Preventing accidental drowning means removing easy access to pools. Pools should be surrounded by secure fencing with an automatically latching gate. Fences should not be accessible by climbing. Extra precautions like installing a safety cover on inground pools and removing or securing ladders when the pool is not in use can help as well.

Establish rules.

Each pool owner should establish their own set of rules for the pool. These can include “no running around the pool,” “no diving in a shallow pool” and “no riding toys at poolside.” Pool owners can customize rules as they pertain to safety issues in their yards.

Maintain constant supervision.

People of any age can drown. That is why it’s always safest for swimmers to swim with a buddy or with someone watching. The American Academy of Pediatrics says an adult should be in the water and within arm’s reach when infants and toddlers are swimming. This is known as “touch supervision.” For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and remain free from distractions, like talking on the phone, socializing, tending to household chores, or drinking alcohol.

Use approved flotation devices.

Individuals who do not know how to swim should rely on a Coast Guard-approved flotation device. Water wings and general pool floats are not adequate, especially in situations that requires someone to be saved.

Take swimming lessons.

Knowing how to swim will not entirely remove the risk of drowning, but it certainly can reduce it. Many swim programs teach water survival skills as well as general swimming techniques.

Fun around the pool is par for the course come summer. But fun must be balanced with safety when swimming.

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