With the winter over and the beautiful spring and summer days underway, increased outdoor activity brings a whole host of fun, and a few avoidable hazards. Follow these tips to keep your sunny days safe and memorable.
Food left out in the heat during summer months can grow a dangerous level of bacteria. According to the Washington State Department of Health, bacteria like staphylococcus (staph) and Bacillus cereuscan produce toxins not destroyed by high cooking temperatures. Foods with dairy, eggs or mayonnaise are of particular concern, because they can go bad in a matter of hours. Keep these items in your cooler until you are ready to serve then return them immediately when people are finished. When in doubt, throw it out.
Store raw meat in a separate cooler to prevent cross contamination. For best results when grilling, let the grill heat up for 20 minutes before cooking. Allow meat to thaw fully before grilling. Bring a meat thermometer to test the meat temperature. Grills can brown the outside of the meat quickly, leaving the inside under cooked. Minimum internal temperatures should be 145 degrees for steak, 160 degrees for ground beef, 150 degrees for pork, 165 degrees for chicken and 140 degrees for hot dogs. Use separate utensils and dishes for the cooked meat and refrigerate any leftovers within one hour.
Increased outdoor activity levels and summer heat can quickly dehydrate your body. Keep water available and bring twice as much as you think you’ll need. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness and lightheadedness and dry mouth. In extreme heat staying hydrated may not be enough and if your body is unable to keep your internal temperature regulated you can develop heat cramps, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Heat stroke is diagnosed by an increased internal and external body temperature and a lack of sweating. If someone you know develops heat stroke, get them into a cool place and bring their temperature down with cool cloths and even ice packs. Severe cases of heat stroke may require a trip to the emergency room for IV fluids. Prevent heatstroke by limiting your exposure to high temperature. The elderly and people with chronic conditions are much more susceptible to heat related problems and should limit their exposure to extreme heat.
Cases of sunburn in the United States have been increasing over recent years and can lead to Skin Cancer. During the summer months you should always be mindful of your sun exposure. Plan activities for morning or afternoon/evening times when harmful rays are weaker. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and protection against UVB and UVA sunlight. Protect your eyes with UVB/UVA sunglasses and always wear a hat. Even on cloudy days you can get burned without your skin even feeling hot. Stay hydrated, and remember that alcohol can dehydrate you.
With the latest news about the spread of diseases by mosquitoes, people are more concerned than ever about biting insects. Follow these tips for the safe use of insect repellent and avoiding stings and bites.
Everyone loves a well manicured lawn. However, many forget just how dangerous a lawn mower is. With many parents expecting their teens to mow the lawn, as well as those young entrepreneurs working the neighborhood, teens can be particularly at risk from injury. Most lawn mower injuries fall into two categories:
Swimming and boating activities are the most popular summertime activities. Keep these tips in mind while enjoying the water.
Last but not least is how to leave your home before a vacation. We covered how to prepare with our Pre-Vacation Home Preparation Checklist, How to Care For Your Pets When You’re On Vacation, and keeping an eye on things while away with Home Security While On Vacation.
Keeping these tips in your mind when outdoors this summer will help ensure you and your family enjoy the weather safely.
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