It’s here! Another searing, sweltering, steaming, scalding, sizzling, scorching, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk Texas summer!
To ensure a fun and safe summer for you and your family, the American Red Cross offers the following safety tips.
- Fluids. When conducting outdoor activities on hot days, drink, drink, drink. Consume plenty of cold fluids – especially water. Stay away from alcohol when conducting hot weather activities, however. The risks include heat-related illness and accidents.
- Sunscreen. Use sunscreen when spending time outdoors – even on cloudy days. The FDA recommends using broad-spectrum (protects both UVA and UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 1-1/2 to 2 hours. When the sun’s UV rays are strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), wear broad-brimmed hats and loose-fitting clothing for extra protection.
- Grilling. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 27 percent of home fires involving grills started on a courtyard, terrace or patio. Keep propane and charcoal BBQ grills a safe distance from your home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Keep children and pets away from the grill area. Never leave a grill unattended. And keep your grill clean – grease or fat buildup can cause fires.
- Exercise. Early morning is normally the best time to work out, especially if the day promises blast-furnace heat conditions. For intense activities, drink a glass of water before leaving the house. Carry a bottle of water or a hydration pack such as a CamelBak®. Replenish your electrolytes while running, cycling, or other intense exercise.
- Swimming. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for people ages 5 - 24. Never leave a child unattended when near the water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Even for strong, adult swimmers, use a buddy system while in the water due to issues such as fatigue or muscle cramps.
- Boating. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, life jackets could have saved the lives of more than 80 percent of boating fatality victims. Wear a life jacket at all times while boating. Another leading factor in boating fatalities is alcohol. Boating and liquor simply don’t mix.
- Helmets and safety gear. Helmet use may reduce head injury risk, reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. When biking, skateboarding or other such activities, wear a comfortable, properly fitting, approved safety helmet. Always fasten the safety strap.
- Red Cross classes. Consider enrolling in a Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid, or CPR/AED course. It could mean saving a life.