Summer is the season for memories. Family vacations, road trips, camping and swimming, or a trip to the Grand Canyon … these are the experiences that you will cherish for years to come.
If you’re planning a big trip, staycation or are enjoying the summer at home, here are some reminders to keep you and your family safe.
Sun and heat safety
- Run errands, exercise, or do outdoor work in the early mornings and late evenings.
- Keep your car cool. Look for covered or shaded parking spots, crack your windows, use sunscreens, and never leave children or pets in the car!
- Wear shoes outside. The sidewalk can be hot enough to cause first-degree burns, particularly on the sensitive feet of toddlers and pets.
- Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing in a fabric designed to wick away sweat.
- Use sunscreen and remember to apply it to the tops of your ears and the back of your neck.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin.
- Stay hydrated. Recommendations vary on the exact amount to drink, but be mindful especially when you are exercising, working or playing outdoors. Drink about 16 ounces before you head out, then drink about 8 ounces every 20 minutes or so.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion symptoms
- Heat can quickly make a healthy person ill, and for the very young and chronically ill, heat can be even more stressful. This is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1, then take measures to cool the person down and give water, if possible. The body can no longer cool itself and as the body temperature rises, internal organ damage and death are possible.
- Heat cramps: These muscle cramps are the first indicator that you need to drink more water and add electrolytes, such as those found in sports drinks. It happens when you sweat a lot without replacing fluids and electrolytes.
- Heat stroke or sun stroke: Symptoms include flushed skin, vomiting, racing heart and rapid breathing.
- Supervise children constantly. Remember, two seconds is too long to divert your attention from a child in or around water.
- Learn CPR. Take CPR training. Post CPR steps on the refrigerator as a reminder.
- Have non-swimmers wear personal flotation devices.
- Install a secure barrier around your pool. (The Arizona Legislature requires that pool fences be at least five feet high.)
- Have a phone outside by the pool in case of emergency.
Bites and stings
- Snake bites: Always call 9-1-1.
- Bee stings: Remove the stinger immediately, apply a cold compress and watch for allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or swelling that does not subside.
- Scorpions: Wash the sting area, apply a cold compress and take a mild pain killer. If an allergic reaction becomes evident, seek medical attention immediately.