Enjoy your summer outings, but remember to stay safe

The unofficial “kickoff” to summer has historically been Memorial Day weekend and even though this year’s weather felt more spring than summer, it’s still a good time to remember to enjoy the upcoming months safely.
The American College of Emergency Physicians offers top five tips for you and your family for the summer season.

Tip 1: Food safety
Refrigerate all perishable food within two hours, one hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.
To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees.

Tip 2: Grill safety
Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Consumers should thoroughly clean a grill of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors that can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from any grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport or porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions that come with the grill.

Tip 3: Water safety
To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a life jacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don’t swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in case of an emergency.

Tip 4: Sun safety
Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseated, get into a cool place immediately.

Tip 5: Travel safety
Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Take along a traveler’s first aid kit to help you be prepared for common emergencies.
Wear your seat belt at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is. Also, avoid talking or texting on a cellphone while driving.
For more information on ways to stay safe this summer as well as other health-related topics, visit EmergencyCareForYou.org.

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