Hot topic: Summer Safety

Submitted by Trina Mansour
Health Promotion Specialist

Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2018


Summer is a time for family road trips, outdoor fun in the sun and hopefully lots of great weather. Here are some simple reminders to prepare for a safe and enjoyable summer:

Stay cool in the heat: Keep cool and hydrated. Minimize your time in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Drink plenty of water, find shade, visit cool buildings, slow down, bathe in cool water and wear light-coloured clothing. Never leave children or pets inside a parked vehicle. When the outside air temperature is 23°C/73°F, the temperature inside a vehicle can be extremely dangerous – more than 50°C/122°F.

Wear the right helmet: Everyone is encouraged to wear a helmet when cycling, inline skating and skateboarding. The additional cushioning in a helmet could save your life. In bicycle mishaps, the forehead usually makes first contact with the ground. With skateboarding, falls are more common and helmets are specifically designed to protect more of the back of the head. Unlike bicycle helmets, skateboard headgear is also designed to protect against multiple falls, whereas bicycle helmets should be replaced after one crash

. When thunder roars, go indoors: Stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. If you can hear thunder, you can get hit by lightning. Take shelter immediately in a sturdy, fully enclosed building with wiring and plumbing. If no solid building is available, you can take shelter in a metal-roofed vehicle.

Stay safe while camping: If strong winds, hail or a tornado is developing while you are camping in a tent or tent-trailer, move to the closest building or a hard-topped vehicle. Make every effort to get to a suitable shelter. If no shelter is available, seek refuge deep in a thick stand of trees in the lowest-lying area.

Avoid the bugs – and their bite: Avoid being outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. Keep in mind that ticks are often found along trail edges, mostly in wooded areas or tall grass. Light-coloured clothing is less attractive to mosquitoes and allows you to see ticks more easily. Registered insect repellants containing DEET can be used safely when applied as directed. Health Canada’s last review of DEET products was supported by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Keep food fresh: Chilling food properly is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Leftovers should be chilled promptly, but remember to throw them away if they have been out at room temperature for more than two (2) hours.

Keep the fridge at 4◦C (40◦F) or below and use an appliance thermometer to check the temperature.

Make a (safe) splash: Never leave a child unattended in water, not even for a second. Pick the best time of the day to swim and avoid swimming at night and in stormy weather. The Canadian Red Cross website offers tips for all kinds of water activities such as water parks, backyard pools and hot tubs.

For more information contact the Health Promotion office at Dundonald Hall, 613-687-5511 x4685.

Content sourced from Public Safety Canada, www.GetPrepared.gc.ca .