Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Warm weather usually rolls in for good around this time, school is winding down, and everyone is feeling stir crazy after a long winter and a rainy spring.
This year, there’s the added layer of our spring being full of COVID-19 precautions like staying home, distancing ourselves from loved ones, and not being able to visit some of our favorite restaurants and stores.
Now that restrictions are lifting and the weather looks like it will finally cooperate, everyone is eager to get outside. Here are some tips so you can enjoy your summer while staying safe and healthy.
Biking is a great way to spend time with your family. Before you pedal off this, make sure you keep bike safety in mind.
- Wear a properly fitted helmet.
- Wear proper clothing including good footwear. Avoid loose clothes and flip flops that could interfere with the bicycle.
- Make sure bikes are the appropriate size. There should be 1 to 3 inches between you and the top of your bike when you stand straddling it with both feet flat on the ground.
- Check your brakes and check and oil the chain.
- Check tire pressure.
Water can be fun but it can also be dangerous. To stay safe while playing in or near water, follow these tips:
- Avoid swimming past your ability or in rough water.
- Never leave children unattended even if they are experience swimmers.
- Never swim alone.
- Make sure water is deep enough before diving.
- Teach children to avoid playing around open bodies of water.
- Discourage children from jumping in to help another swimmer. Teach them to throw the victim a flotation device or something long to grab and to call an adult for help.
- Make sure young children wear properly fitting, coast guard approved life jackets when swimming or playing near water.
Unfortunately bug bites and stings are part of the territory when it comes to summer. Take these precautions to avoid bites and stings:
- Check under decks and eaves for bee and wasp nests.
- Use insect repellent on the outside of clothing as well as exposed skin.
- Use repellent containing no more than 30% DEET.
- Avoid bright colored or floral clothing and scented soaps, perfumes, and hair products.
- To avoid ticks, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.
- Check one another for ticks at the end of the day.
Sun and heat safety
Those most at risk for heat-related illness are young children and the elderly. Remember the following to protect yourself and family members from heatstroke and sunburn:
- The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Take extra precautions during those times.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out and every two hours while outside. If you are swimming or sweating you will need to use waterproof sunscreen and reapply more often.
- Sunscreen should have SPF of 15 to 30 and should protect against UVA and UVB rays.
- The sun’s rays can be damaging even on cloudy days.
- Watch for signs of heat-related illness such as fainting, dizziness, headache, nausea, flushed appearance, increased heart rate, and body temperature of 103 or higher.
- Drink lots of fluids and avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine.
- Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing, a hat, and sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
- Keep children under one out of the sun as much as possible.
Although COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted, the virus is still spreading in our communities. COVID-19 can spread especially quickly in large groups. Try to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people and crowded places to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you choose to go to a restaurant, store, or other public place, keep in mind proper social distancing. Many places will likely have 6 feet of distance marked for their customers so you can visualize the distance. Staying 6 feet away from others who are not in your household will help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Remember, should you get sick or injured, Fisher-Titus is here for you. Convenient Care is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. We also offer scheduled and on-demand virtual visits and our Emergency Room is here for you 24/7. For more information, visit fishertitus.org/access.
About Lauren Bailey
Lauren Bailey, CNP is a Nurse Practitioner at Fisher-Titus Convenient Care in Norwalk. Fisher-Titus Convenient Care is staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to serve as a user-friendly option for patients who can’t get in to see their primary care provider when injury or illness strikes. For more information, visit fishertitus.org/convenient-care.