With the Rocky Mountain Summer in full swing (finally) it’s the season to stock up on sunblock, bug spray and bottles of water instead of scarves, mittens and hot chocolate. Sunburn, tick bites, and heat illnesses top the charts in hot weather. Take a moment to refresh your memory on how to handle these potentially life-affecting summer dangers:
Remember to limit sun exposure, wear protective clothing, and use sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before going outdoors and reapplied at least every two hours. Use water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.
Bites from Ticks
Check yourself and your children for ticks before bedtime. If you find a tick, remove it with tweezers and drop it in a plastic bag and throw it away. You don't have to save the tick to show it to doctors. People who want to get a tick tested for diseases or other information could check with their local health departments, but not all of them offer tick testing. Cleanse the area of the tick bite with antiseptic. Early removal is essential because a tick generally has to be on the skin for 36 hours or more to transmit Lyme disease.
Air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat illness. If you don't have air conditioning, spend time in public facilities, such as libraries and malls that have air conditioning. Reduce strenuous activities or do them during early mornings and evenings when it's cooler. If you're outside for long periods, carry a water bottle, drink fluids regularly, and don't push your limits.
People who play sports should wear light, loose-fitting clothes, and drink water/sports drinks before, during, and after activity. If you see someone experiencing heat illness, have the person lie down in a cool place and elevate the legs. Use water, wet towels, and fanning to help cool the person down until emergency help comes.
Bonus: Now is the time to swap out your Car Winter Emergency Kit and turn it into a Car Summer Emergency Kit.
Basic Car Kit
• Clear plastic bin
• Bottled water
• Phone charger
• Snacks that won’t melt (no chocolate)
• Sunscreen and/or wide-brim hat
• Reflective emergency blanket – can be used for shade
• First aid kit
• Light source (hand-crank flashlights are ideal)
• Pocket knife
• Visibility equipment (flares or reflective hazard triangles)
• Jumper cables
• Tire pressure gauge
• Tow strap
• Tool kit
• Duct tape