Staying Safe in the Dog Days of Summer

7 ways to stay safe this summer!Last time we discussed several ways to be safe this summer around fireworks.  But there are many safety issues that are particular to the hot summer days, and two we’re going to discuss today are most likely coming up for us this weekend during the Independence Day celebrations.  During these dog days of summer, what common safety issues arise?

Dehydration is a Safety Risk

You’ve been in the intense heat for an hour or so, and start to feel, not just hot, but a pounding heat coming from within.  Along with a headache, you have the following symptoms:

  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • sticky mouth
Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration, which can bring on fainting, hallucinations, and seizures.
How can we be safe this summer and combat dehydration?  These simple steps will help.
  • Drink water.  Drink a lot, especially if you are in the sun.  Take note of any thirst, and be sure to quench it quickly.  Other liquids are fine in moderation, but water is most quickly absorbed and utilized by your body.
  • Get out of the sun.  If you feel overly warm, find some shade and take a break.
  • Find the right time.  Save vigorous activity, such as yard work, for the cooler morning or evening hours.

If you suspect heatstroke, get inside immediately to cooler temperatures, either in front of an air conditioner or fan.  Lie down and rest, using ice packs and cool cloths to lower body temperature.  Of course, fluids are necessary to lower the body temperature as well.  If you suspect the heat stroke is severe, call 911 immediately.

Picnics: a Source of Danger?

What could be more lovely than an afternoon with friends, playing football and sharing a picnic?  Though many of us will spend this weekend outdoors doing just that (and don’t forget the fireworks show), it’s important to remember the important issue of food safety.

Any food that is prepared for a gathering that contains mayonnaise, eggs, meat or dairy must be refrigerated to remain cool.  Bacteria can develop quickly in foods that raise to room temperature.

For some helpful food safety tips, the USDA recommends:

  • Wash your hands and all surfaces before they come into contact with food.
  • Wrap meat (raw or cooked) and keep it separate from other foods.
  • Do avoid food poisoning, cook steak to 145 degrees, ground beef or pork to 160 degrees, and all poultry to 165 degrees.  Eat immediately.
  • To keep cool foods cool outdoors, pack them in a cooler filled with ice.

If you or a loved one does get sick from eating tainted food, keep the following in mind.

  • Try to stay away from solid foods until vomiting and/or diarrhea stop.
  • Drink clear liquids, as much as can be tolerated.
  • Once recovery begins, start on small, bland meals (like toast and rice)
  • If improvement does not begin within 24 hours for children or 48 hours for adults, seek medical attention.

We hope the upcoming holiday is enjoyable for all our valued customers.  Remember to stop by Brian’s Pharmacies for your most important outdoor need:  sunscreen!  Have a safe and happy weekend!


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