Celebrate Summer Safely

Healthcare never stops, even during summer vacation. Fall off a tree swing and break your arm? An acute care physician is available to help. Burn yourself on the grill or roasting marshmallows? Nurses are on the clock ready to treat you.

Summer is a great time to rest and relax, take a vacation and enjoy warmer weather. However, summer holidays are also when some injuries and illnesses may be more common from allergies to sunburns, heat exhaustion and more. As people come together for Independence Day celebrations tomorrow, with cookouts, barbecues, community events and everyone’s favorite summer entertainment, fireworks; it’s time to practice summer fun safely. Protect yourself and keep your family and friends safe this summer with these seasonal insights from Concordance.

Fourth of July
Every year, thousands of injuries are related to the unsafe handling of fireworks. While sparklers are a fun American past time, they’re also the number one cause for emergency room and urgent care visits in July along with other burns, eye injuries and even serious trauma. Ensure you, your family and your friends stay safe by handling explosive products responsibly.

Injuries can range from burns to the skin from handheld fireworks, to other burns when a pyrotechnic product is ignited, eye injuries and even more serious detonation injuries. One of the best ways to avoid injury is to be responsible and respectful when handling fireworks. Never consume alcohol while playing with explosives. In the event of a serious accident, call for help immediately by dialing 9-1-1 or have a bystander call.

Food Poisoning
Is there anything more dreaded than having summer travel, a beach vacation, or any vacation for that matter, ruined by a bought of food poisoning? Food poisoning and other gastrointestinal issues are caused by a variety of factors, but usually attributed to unwashed hands or produce and improperly prepared meats or seafood. Typical symptoms include sweating, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and, sometimes severe, stomach cramps.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), every year an estimated one in six Americans get sick from food-borne illness and food-borne illnesses peak in summer months. Certain groups are also more prone to food poisoning including children under the age of five, adults 65 and older as well as those with already compromised or weakened immune systems. Protect yourself by following a few simple tips:

  • Wash your hands – This might sound obvious, but hand hygiene is one the best defenses against food poisoning, especially while traveling during summer vacation. Washing your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based sanitizer before eating will help protect against gastrointestinal, respiratory and other infections and diseases.
  • Cook smart – Use a meat thermometer to ensure your summer barbecue is cooked to the proper internal temperature. Also, don't leave meat and other side dishes out in the sun or heat for extended periods of time. 
  • Travel safely – When traveling, watch for indications of food hygiene. Food safety standards aren't universal. Look for things like the use of tongs instead of bare hands, food that is piping hot and fresh, the use of gloves or hairnets, etc. Also, if you have any food sensitivities keep those in mind and also be mindful of leafy greens and all prepared meats and seafood.

Food poisoning sufferers are typically most affected by dehydration after the loss of fluids. Recognize signs of severe food poisoning such as a high fever, bloody diarrhea, frequent vomiting and diarrhea lasting longer than 72 hours. Recognizing these severe indicators can help you better gauge when to contact a doctor or seek medical attention.

Pool Safety
Summer sees lots of families head to the swimming pool to soak up some sun and have some fun. A recent survey, however, revealed some not so fun statistics about American pool habits. The survey discovered that 51 percent of Americans use a swimming pool as a communal bathtub. Survey respondents use swimming as a substitute for showering or to rinse off after exercise or yard work. Additionally, 40 percent of Americans admit they have peed in a pool, even as an adult. Even more unsettling, health officials have prescribed caution over reports that cryptosporidium, a fecal parasite transmitted via swimming pools, is on the rise.

Here are some healthy swimming tips to practice this summer:

  • Avoid swallowing pool water
  • Rinse off for at least one minute before diving into a pool
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour
  • Anyone suffering diarrhea should avoid swimming for at least two weeks after symptoms subside

UV Safety
July isn’t just the season for catching fireflies and watching fireworks, it’s also #UVSafetyMonth. One out of every five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and half of all Americans 65 years or older develop a non-melanoma skin cancer at least once.

Defend against UV damage by practicing safe sun. Start by limiting sun exposure, especially during peak hours (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). Apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). SPF is calculated based on total amount of sun exposure and also depends on other factors including activities, location and length of sun exposure. While SPF helps protect, be sure to reapply sunscreen to continue effectiveness when outside for extended periods of time. Shield yourself from the sun’s dangerous rays by spending time under a beach umbrella or wear a hat or UV shirt to protect your body, face and scalp from burning when spending time outside exercising, swimming or fishing. Other than taking preventative measures, recognize the warning signs of skin cancer and get a skin exam from a primary care physician once a year.

Concordance Healthcare Solutions supports those who provide quality care. We know healthcare never stops, even over the summer, so we never stop helping. Concordance provides a large selection of supplies and instrumentation from thousands of suppliers that help physicians, nurses, urgent care facilities and more treat those affected by summer injuries and ailments. Contact us to learn how we can help you this summer and all year round.

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