A few simple safety precautions can help ensure your summer fundoesn’t lead to the hospital emergency department, says Dr. Jeff Kalina, associate director of emergency medicine at the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

Avoid overheating. If you’re playing/exercising outside in hot weather, drink water or beverages withelectrolytes. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages because they cause dehydration. Don’t drink alcohol. Itchanges the body’s thermal regulation center and makes your body think it’s cool when it’s not, which maycause you to stay outside much longer than you should.

Pay attention when you’re at pools or beaches. Never leave a child unattended and avoid swimming at night,because most pools aren’t properly lit, which can make it difficult to see a person at the bottom of the pool.Never dive into water less than nine feet deep. Diving into shallow water can cause neck and spinal cordinjuries.

Don’t scratch insect bites because doing so can break the skin and make you more vulnerable to antibioticresistantstaph infections. If insect bites are itchy, apply a topical anti-itch cream.

If you take blood pressure medications or insulin, put it in a cooler and bring it with you on outings to thebeach or other locations.

Don’t eat food that’s been left out in the sun/heat, because it could make you sick. Food should be keptcovered and cool until it’s eaten and then put away as soon as everyone is done eating.

More information 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about summer safety.

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