Baltimore County News
Lucia Donatelli, MD
Chief, Bureau of Prevention, Protection, and Preparedness
Baltimore County Department of Health
Flip flops, barbecues and trips to the beach are all hallmarks of summer. Visits to the pool, baseball games and camping trips are also on that list. Summer is here and it brings with it all the joys of long sunny days and enjoying time outdoors. While all these things are enjoyed by many, it’s important to stay safe this season. Remembering one word makes summer safety simple. Enjoy yourself, because summer will be gone in a F.L.A.S.H.
Be sure to wash your hands and all food surfaces. Don't let bacteria spread from one food product to another. This is especially true for raw meat, poultry and seafood. Cook to the recommended temperature and use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of foods. Refrigerate food promptly to keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying on food.
Avoid tick-heavy areas. When outdoors or in the woods, wear insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET. Once coming indoors, immediately remove your clothing and check for ticks. If you find a tick, don't panic. Remove it with fine-tipped tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the surface of the skin as possible and pull up with steady, even pressure until the tick backs out. Afterwards, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
Provide your pet with ample shade and water. Never leave pets in cars.
Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat and glasses to protect your skin and eyes. See a dermatologist if you see a change in any moles or freckles. This applies to all skin colors, because skin cancer can happen to anyone.
Stay indoors and use air conditioning when the temperatures and humidity are extremely high. Drink plenty of water. Check on elderly friends and neighbors.
Following these tips will help ensure that you, your family and pets have a safe and healthy summer.