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Government News: Celebrate Parks and Recreation Month
Ah, yes…summer time is just about here. Many people are looking forward to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of golfing, swimming, hiking and barbequing. But, along with all the fun in the sun come some summer bummers, too—heatstroke, sunburn, bug bites and food poisoning, to name a few. Without the proper precautions, it can be a cruel summer.These four tips for summer safety can help keep your community out of harm’s way and help them beat the summertime blues. Keep reading for more information.Four tips for summer safety
Here are some tips you can share with your community members to help prevent common heat-related incidents.

  1. Be cool: It’s easy to get dehydrated when romping outdoors in the hot, hot sun. If dehydration isn’t nipped in the bud early on, heatstroke can occur. When this happens, the body’s temperature reaches dangerously high levels, resulting in fainting, hallucinations or even seizures. Preventing dehydration is easy—drink plenty of fluids (especially water), take breaks in the shade and schedule more vigorous activities during early mornings and late afternoons when the heat is less intense. Spread the word by imprinting these three ways to stay cool on flyers or handheld fans. Distribute them at your local parks and recreation department or with community mailers.
  2. Prevent sunburn: Sunburn is a surefire way to put the brakes on summer fun. Precautionary measures, like applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat, and staying in the shade while wearing sun-protective clothing can help. Sunscreen should be applied over the entire body, 15 to 30 minutes prior to going outside. And it should be reapplied every two hours—even more often when swimming or sweating. Sunscreen, handed out at local campgrounds and public pools, can be a great way to prepare the community for a day of fun in the sun.
  3. Ward off bug bites and insect stings: Stinging insects and biting bugs can put an end to picnic plans quicker than an army of picnic ants. Insect repellent can help ward off mosquitoes and ticks, and proper aftercare of bee or wasp stings can make all the difference. Immediately remove any remaining stinger by scraping it with a credit card or finger nail, apply ice and take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Readily-available cold packs at area hiking trails and park pavilions can save the day after a bug bite or bee string.
  4. Practice food safety: Picnics and barbeques are great places to meet up with friends and family, enjoy the outdoors…and pick up food poisoning. Bacteria grow faster in warmer temperatures. Couple that with no running water and an al fresco picnic can easily turn into foodborne illness. Safe food handling is the key to prevention. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot, don’t cross-contaminate by reusing platters and utensils, and cook food thoroughly. Get the word out and promote food safety. Post daily safe food storage or grilling tips on your website or social media channels. Hold a weekly contest where contestants enter by correctly answering a food-safety question. Reward winners with a cooler, picnic blanket or Grill Master BBQ Apron.

Passing along these simple safety measures to those in your community can help make this season a summer to remember—but for all the right reasons. Stay safe this summer!

Summer Safety Tips.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. Retrieved 10 Mar. 2014.

The Top 7 Summer Health Hazards.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 Mar. 2014.

Griffin, R Morgan. “Choosing the Best Sunscreen.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. Retrieved 10 Mar. 2014.

Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely.” fda.gov. N.p., 17 May 2013. Web. Retrieved 11 Mar. 2014.

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