Summer is more than just warm weather.
It brings about the opportunity for many fun outdoor activities, recreation, and events. As things continue to reopen and restrictions lower, this summer has many encouraging signs that last summer did not. However, with the possibilities of engaging in more normal activities come many safety concerns to be aware of.
Substance abuse awareness
A chief concern for any time of year are the dangers of substance abuse, which is one of the most serious problems throughout the United States. These may include alcohol, tobacco, or drug use.
Although awareness and prevention programs have helped make significant progress over the years, many cases still persist.
Through awareness and education on the many health risks associated with substance abuse, we can reduce or eliminate cases in our communities. Because of an increase in social gatherings, vacations and the like, the potential for substance abuse situations may rise during the summer. Check your local health department’s website for information and programs related to lowering the risks of substance abuse.
Summer safety tips
While we all are looking forward to enjoying summer activities, it is important to maintain our vigilance and take precautions to ensure ours and our communities’ safety. Here are a few important guidelines to remember when outside:
- Maintain any local and venue-specific guidelines for mask usage and distancing.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and sun, if possible.
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF in the 15-50 range and apply more than you think you need.
- Watch for any signs of heat stress in yourself and others. These include muscle cramps, paleness, weakness, dizziness, fainting or rapid pulse. If these signs appear, seek an air-conditioned space immediately. Sip cold water and call for medical attention, if necessary.
- Use bug spray to protect against mosquitoes and other bug bites.
- Follow all local and venue-based rules for boating, swimming, and fishing activities.
- Do not remain in a hot car, including your pets.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a safe, healthy, and fun summer.
For more information on the signs and dangers of substance abuse and ways to stay safe this summer, visit www.bchealthdepartment.org, or call us at 815-872-5091.
Bureau, Putnam & Marshall County Health Departments
526 Bureau Valley Parkway
Princeton, IL 61356