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Tips for a Safe Summer

Published in General, Urgent Care, For the Health of It Author: Mark Bonneville,MD Author: Mark Bonneville, MD

During the summer months while we are enjoying activities that the warmer weather brings, it is important to review simple safety tips. Accidents and injuries are bound to happen but there are many that could have been prevented if safety precautions were taken. And sometimes, it’s just making sure you’re aware of how to protect yourself. Because we don’t want to see what started as a fun activity end up as a medical emergency.

Water safety

Enjoying water activities is a popular way to spend a beautiful summer day, while also being able to cool off. Always wear a life jacket when boating or canoeing. In addition, make sure that someone is always watching children when they are near water. Young children can drown in only a couple of inches of water and that is why it is important for children to have supervision when enjoying the pool or beach. If you do suspect that someone is struggling in the water, call 911 immediately.


Remember to apply an ounce of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above every two hours and make sure the sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If you develop a sunburn with tender, swollen or blistering skin, or if you develop a fever, become dizzy or feel nauseous within 12 hours of your sunburn, you may need medical attention. Sunburn increases the long-term likelihood of developing skin cancer.

Heat stroke

When a person’s body temperature is quickly elevated to dangerous levels, it can be fatal. Infants, athletes and the elderly are most at risk for heat stroke. Because heat stroke is a medical emergency, it is important to seek immediate help if you or someone you know experiences nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, difficulty breathing, disorientation, seizures, absence of sweating and muscle cramps while outside. It also is important to remember that leaving children or pets in a car, even with the window cracked, is very dangerous and can lead to heat stroke and death.


Because the warm weather often makes us want to stay outdoors longer, it is important to remain hydrated in order to keep our bodies functioning properly. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, excessive thirst, fatigue, dry skin, loss of appetite and head rushes. If warm weather conditions, don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

Bike helmets

Every year, nearly 900 people die from injuries sustained in bicycle accidents and another 567,000 end up in hospital emergency rooms as a result of their injuries. For children, an average of nearly 600 emergency room visits per day or 25 every hour, happen because of bicycle accidents. Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle. Other safety tips include: Ride with traffic, not against it. Follow all traffic signs. Walk the bicycle across busy streets.


Nothing says summer like grilling with family and friends. However, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 10,600 home structure and outdoor fires involving grills per year from 2014-2018. These fires caused an average of 10 civilian deaths, 160 civilian injuries, and $149 million in direct property damage annually. To ensure that your summer grilling is safe, it is important to have a fire extinguisher in your home, keep your eye on the grill when cooking and make sure that every member of your family knows the quickest and safest route to safety if a fire were to occur in your home.


As we approach the Fourth of July, many backyard barbecues involve celebrating the holiday with fireworks. In 2017, eight people died and more than 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50 percent of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. When celebrating this holiday with fireworks, keep your family safe by leaving the displays to the professionals and never let children near fireworks.


Living in the Midwest, we are no strangers to severe weather and that is why it is important to practice tornado drills with your family to ensure that everyone knows the safest place to be in the event of a strong storm or tornado.

Please consider these important safety reminders this summer to ensure that you and your family will create fun-in-the-sun memories for years to come.