Summertime safety tips

Family having barbecueWho doesn’t love spending time outdoors, especially in the summer? Make sure your time in the great outdoors stays fun by keeping these tips in mind.

Don’t bug out

Bugs can be a pest at your family picnic or on weekend hike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an appropriate insect and tick repellent containing 20 percent DEET. If mosquitoes are your biggest pest, try products with DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. You might also consider wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks, if weather permits. You may also consider staying indoors during peak mosquito times.

If ticks are a problem, avoid tick-infested areas– high grasses and places with leaf-litter. You’ll want to use repellent containing DEET, but you’ll also want to check for ticks as soon as you are back indoors. The CDC recommends showering as soon as possible, washing and drying clothes, as well as checking your pets for any signs of ticks.

Flower power

If you enjoy gardening and yard work during the summer months, make sure you pay attention to summer’s rising temperatures. Make sure you stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Consider wearing wide-brimmed hats and don’t forget to use gloves and any necessary safety gear (goggles when mowing, face masks to keep your allergies from flaring).

Don’t forget that pets, birds and wild animals can carry a wide variety of parasites. The CDC recommends keeping children away from areas of your yard that may be soiled. Cover sandboxes and wash down lawn furniture and play areas before use.

Master the grill

Make sure your culinary masterpiece stays that way by following these tips:

  • Use a meat thermometer when grilling. For temperature guidelines, click here.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Always put cooked meat on a clean plate. Wash your hands, work surfaces and utensils with soap and water after immediate contact with raw meat.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.