How to Have Safe Fun in the Sun

The days are longer, the weather is warmer and people are spending more time outdoors—summer is almost upon us! But how can you ensure that your family is not at an increased risk for illness or injury during the most active months of the year? Carroll Health Group specialists at the Mt. Airy Health & Wellness Pavilion have some tips to keep you and your loved ones protected.

Sunscreen is Your Friend

Did you know Maryland has one of the highest diagnosed skin cancer prevalence rates in the nation? It’s true. But melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—can be prevented. One way to care for your skin is to avoid outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is the strongest. When you’re enjoying the great outdoors, be sure to apply one ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher every two hours. Apply it more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.

Fresh Food + Clean Utensils = The Perfect Summer Picnic

Did you know that each year, foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning) causes 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in this country? To prevent occurrences of vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and more at your summer picnic, make sure you wash your hands and clean all utensils thoroughly before preparing any food. Fresh food is best, so throw away any foods that have been sitting out for more than two hours. Toss foods after just one hour on days when the mercury reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. 

Check Head-to-Toe After Being Outdoors

Since Maryland has one of the highest numbers of confirmed Lyme disease cases in the country, it’s crucial to perform tick checks after being outdoors—especially in wooded areas. If you do find a tick, be sure to use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to your skin’s surface as possible. Then pull it upward with steady, even pressure. Make sure you don’t twist or jerk the tick, which can cause parts to break off and remain in your skin. Then, thoroughly clean the area and your hands with soap or rubbing alcohol. If you develop a rash, fever or other common symptoms of Lyme disease within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor.

Keep Your Health at the Top of Your Summer To-Dos

A full house of family healthcare services are conveniently located at the Mt. Airy Health & Wellness Pavilion at 504 East Ridgeville Boulevard. For walk-in illness and injury care, visit ExpressCare Urgent Care Center from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, also found in the Mt. Airy Health & Wellness Pavilion. To find a provider that’s right for you, visit MtAiryHealth.org.

Sources:

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Warns of Increase in Melanoma Diagnoses. (2018, May). Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

CDC and Food Safety | Food Safety | CDC. (2020, June). CDC. 

CDC | How to Grill Safely | CDC. (2021, July). CDC.

Lyme Disease Maps: Most Recent Year | Lyme Disease | CDC. (n.d.). CDC. 

 

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