|During the hot summer months, stay hydrated to beat the heat. Photo: Reidar Hahn|
As we approach the end of spring and prepare to say hello to warmer days, be aware of hazards that can ruin your summer.
Working outside in the sun and heat can expose you to hazards such as heat exhaustion, heat strokes, skin cancer and dehydration. Ultraviolet rays are the most damaging element of sunlight. Cumulative exposure to UV radiation can cause damage to the cornea and lead to cataracts or even permanent blindness. When working outdoors, take the following precautions to reduce your risks:
- wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat.
- apply a generous amount of sun block with an SPF rating of at least 15.
- apply sunblock at least a half hour before going outdoors.
- wear UV-blocking sunglasses.
- drink plenty of alcohol-free liquids to stay hydrated.
When working, sporting or just having fun outdoors, you may also encounter bees and wasps. Alertness and awareness is the key to avoiding bee and wasp stings. Always watch where you place your hands, and keep away from heavily perfumed soaps, laundry detergents and additives, as well as colognes, hair products, lotions, oils and flowery deodorants. These strongly scented products attract bees and wasps.
Be careful when eating fruits and sugary food outside. Cover all food and drinks. Bees and wasps are notorious for crawling into drink cans unnoticed.
If you do get stung by a bee, scrape the stinger off with a fingernail or other straight edge. Do not remove a bee stinger with tweezers or by squeezing it between two fingers, as it will squeeze the venom into the skin. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Ice can reduce the swelling of a bee sting. Resist the urge to scratch the bee sting, as it will irritate the skin and prolong your discomfort.
Don’t let Mother Nature spoil your summer fun.