Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
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Three tips for a safe summer

Added on Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer is in full swing, and what’s not to love about this time of year? Whether it’s a weekend getaway to a cabin up north or a backyard grill out, there is always something fun to do with family and friends.

With the right preparation, you can enjoy these activities safely. Here are our top three tips to prepare for a relaxing summertime.

1: Beat the Heat

Heat-related illness is a top summer concern for kids and adults. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can develop suddenly or over a long period of time. Watch for these warning signs: cool skin with goosebumps while in the heat, heavy sweating, faintness, muscle cramps, nausea, or headache.

According to the Mayo Clinic, high temperatures coupled with high humidity are a typical cause, especially when someone is performing a strenuous physical activity (read more about heat exhaustion).

Fortunately, it’s easy to take preventative steps to care for yourself and your family:

  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and avoid dark colors
  • Find a place with air conditioning to stay cool and avoid hot spots like your car. If you’re adventuring into the great outdoors, locate a well-shaded area, avoid strenuous activity and take frequent breaks.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. It goes without saying, but you need to keep yourself and any children with you hydrated. Staying hydrated helps your body sweat and maintain normal temperature.

2: Guard Against Insects

When you’re outside, especially in wooded areas, it’s important to protect against mosquitoes and other insects of concern, like ticks. One way to do this is to cover yourself in lightweight clothing. If you’re hiking, wear long pants that go over the top of your shoes and consider tucking your pants into your shoes or socks.

Bug repellents can help repel ticks and mosquitos. The most effective products contain DEET. Check that the repellent contains less than 30 percent DEET, before applying to children.

Bee stings can be deadly for those with severe allergies. Fortunately, most stings are avoidable. Bees sting to defend themselves. It may sound like common sense, but if a bee does get close to you, the best thing you can do is stay still. If you start swatting, it’ll trigger a threatened response.

Avoiding fragrances and bright, floral-patterned clothing can help. These make you look and smell like a flower. Bees detect and follow strong scents, so if they detect your perfume or cologne, they may follow you to investigate the source of the smell.

3: Prepare a First-Aid Kit

an emergency disaster kit You never know when an injury or illness will strike, and the best thing you can do is plan ahead. We recommend stocking a first-aid kit and bringing it with you wherever your summer takes you. Here’s a quick list of essentials to keep in your kit:

  • Band-aids
  • Antibacterial gel or foam
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Adhesive tape
  • Tweezers
  • A washcloth
  • Cold pack
  • Allergy-specific medications
  • EpiPen (if one has been prescribed to your or your children)

In addition to the items listed above, we encourage you to customize your first-aid kit to better fit the medical needs of you and your family.

If you would like to receive more monthly safety tips like these throughout the year, subscribe to our text list. Text SASAFETY to 51555 to join.