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Knox County Hospital District
KNOX CITY—Warm weather and the outdoors were meant for each other, and those of us who love summer have waited more than a year to really enjoy it!
As we begin to recover from the Covid-19 lockdown and head outside to enjoy picnics, barbecues, poolside, boating, sports activities, hikes, etc, it is important to keep in mind the importance of preventing overexposure to summer heat. A summer fling that ends in heat exhaustion is no fun for anybody and can be potentially very dangerous! Also, it is crucial to be mindful of water safety during the season.
“Most of us love this time of year, but the activities we choose to enjoy can be risky,” said Chris Scott, FNP, of the Munday Clinic, a service of Knox Count Hospital District. “This year, as much of the nation experiences excessive heat, it is especially important to take steps to protect our health and safety. Also, remember that we are still in the process of recovering from the pandemic,” he reminds.
Protect your skin from damage
Skin cancer continues to be the most common form of cancer in the U.S., with an estimated one-in-five Americans developing it during their lifetime. It is estimated that about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Tips for a fun and safe Summer this year
To reduce the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, it is also recommended that people stay out of the sun and heat as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays and temperatures are at their highest and can do the most damage. Additionally, everyone should wear sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher when outdoors.
According to Scott, you should talk to your primary care provider immediately if you notice any unusual bumps or spots on your skin. Catching skin cancer in its early stages can improve treatment outcomes.
Enjoy water activities safely
Drowning is one of the most common causes of unintentional death in young people, claiming the lives of approximately 830 children under 14 each year, according to the National Safety Council. Because drowning can happen quickly, adults are urged to remain attentive and to never leave children alone, even for a short period of time.
Install barriers such as fences around pools and keep them locked to prevent children from entering when an adult is not present. Self-closing gates can help ensure that fences remain closed.
For those who choose to enjoy time at the lake or river, it is important to avoid alcohol when operating a boat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol use is involved in nearly 70 percent of deaths associated with water-related recreational activities. Drinking plenty of water or sports drinks helps to hydrate fluids lost in sweating caused by the body cooling itself from the heat.
Scott also reminds area residents that it is important not to skip or delay needed healthcare services this summer. “When the unexpected happens, you can take comfort knowing that healthcare services are right around the corner,” he said.