Beating the Summer Heat & Staying Safe
By Linda Sedeño, manager of administrative support services
Are you spending any time outdoors this summer? Summer is usually a time when most of us like going outside more often. However, due to COVID-19, for many who planned on heading to the beach, theme parks or participating in outdoor sports and birthday parties at the park, it’s going to take some creativity for fun in the sun this year. So, while you are getting creative with your summer activities, there are ways to keep yourself and your family cool and safe when outdoors.
I’d like to share a few summer safety tips with you, as you plan your outings with family.
- First and foremost, if you decide to go anywhere (indoors or outdoors), please remember to maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 6 feet between yourself and others and wear a cloth face covering (mask), as mandated by the State of Texas
- Limit your risk of getting the virus by trying to reduce the number of places you visit
- Wash your hands with soap and water often; use hand sanitizer when necessary
- Try ordering food and other items for home delivery or curbside pickup, if possible
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated – health experts recommend drinking 16 to 32 ounces of water every hour when outside for longer periods of time. Also, staying hydrated can help prevent heat stroke
- Dress for the heat by wearing loose, light-colored clothing, as well as a hat
- Never leave a child or pet inside a hot vehicle, not even for a second. Temperatures inside of a vehicle can reach up to 116 degrees. Since 1998, at least 856 children across the U.S. have died from heatstroke while unattended in a vehicle.
- Don’t walk your dog when temperatures are high. Keep in mind that asphalt (pavement) can get very hot during the summer and can burn a dog’s paw pads, causing severe burns and pain. In addition, walking your dog during hot temperatures can cause heat stroke. Try taking your dog for shorter walks early in the morning or later in the evening, when temperatures are lower
If you plan on grilling your meals outside, which is very popular in South Texas, be sure to do it safely. Did you know that grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires on average each year? Practice prevention with the following tips.
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when using it. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid, once coals have already been ignited
- Never grill indoors—that includes the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area. Be sure to keep the grill away from your home or anything that could catch fire
- Make certain that everyone, including children and pets, are not close to the hot grill
- Use long-handled grilling tools, especially those made specifically for cooking on grills
So, as you plan your summer outings, please be mindful of your surroundings and try to incorporate some fun but safe activities with your family. Stay safe and healthy!