Your backyard can be a sanctuary in the summer months, especially when you know simple safety tips for around the yard. Dr. Matthew Richlen, a family practice physician with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group – Brown Deer, offers the following tips on how to stay safe outdoors and enjoy a hazard-free summer:
It seems like the only way to beat the heat during the summer is to take a dip in a pool. Whether you own one or not, here are some easy guidelines for safe swimming:
- Build proper fencing around pools.
- Never leave young children unattended around swimming pools or hot tubs.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons at a young age.
- Keep children no more than an arm’s length away when swimming.
Lawn and garden
Correcting unsafe habits in the yard is easier than weeding your garden. Stay on the safe track with this advice:
- Wear sturdy shoes when doing yard work; never wear sandals.
- Clear your work area of debris that can get thrown or caught in lawnmower blades and other equipment.
- Supervise children during yard work; never let kids put dirt, seeds or plant bulbs in their mouths.
- Make sure children are away from power equipment and sharp tools.
Summer is always more fun without casts and crutches. Here are some recommendations for an injury-free summer on the swings:
- Pad the surface below play equipment with sand, shredded tires or wood chips.
- Never use wet or damp equipment.
- Avoid wearing items with hoods and drawstrings that can get caught.
- Check to see if equipment is cool enough to sit on or touch.
Mosquitos and ticks
Just like people, bugs like to spend time outside when the weather warms up. Avoid spending your entire summer scratching bug bites by following this advice:
- Use bug repellent with DEET on skin and clothing.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding spots by dumping out standing water.
- Stay inside when mosquitos are most active at twilight.
- Check your body for ticks after being in dense brush, woods or fields.
Sun and heat exposure
Summer heat and rays from the sun can cause serious heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat camps and heat exhaustion. Know the symptoms of these illnesses and stick to these suggestions:
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water and sports drinks and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine.
- Dress in light colored, lightweight and loose-fitting clothing on hot days.
- Take plenty of breaks when exercising outside; choose cooler times of the day to be outdoors.
For more helpful health information and advice, visit our Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group blog.