Life seems to be less chaotic in the summer months as everyone adopts a ‘schools out’ attitude. While it’s great to sit back and enjoy yourself, it’s still important to not let all logic and reason go out the window. Afterall, certain precautions are needed to stay safe from injury and disease.
From summer safety tips to general health “must do’s,” here’s our comprehensive guide to helping the Piatt County community stay safe and healthy all summer long!
Fact: You don’t need to be playing contact sports to sustain an injury — sometimes simply walking outside could cause harm. Therefore, before heading out this summer, take some simple preventative measures:
Ensure you have all the right gear for the activity. This includes the proper footwear, helmets, mouthguards, pads, eyewear, etc.
Warm up and stretch before jumping into any physical activity.
Take breaks often — not only to reduce your risk of injury, but to prevent heat-related illness.
Sun Safety Tips
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. This doesn’t mean you should avoid going outdoors; it just means you’ll need to take some steps to protect your skin from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays:
Cover up! Wear wide-brimmed hats, protective clothing, and sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection.”
Apply sunscreen 30-minutes prior to heading outdoors and re-apply generously at least every two hours, even on cloudy days.
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when UV rays are strongest. Keep the shadow test in mind: if the shadow is taller than you, your UV exposure is likely lower — and if it’s shorter than you, then your UV exposure is higher, so seek shade!
Extreme heat causes hundreds of deaths each year — but heat-related fatalities and illness are preventable. As the temperatures rise, take measures to keep cool and stay alert:
Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Increase your daily water intake to keep your body hydrated.
Pace yourself, gradually increase your activity level and take breaks often to cool down.
Recognize warning signs of heat-illness and seek medical care.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do this summer season is listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel quite right — headaches, fast heart rate, weakness, pain — don’t push through it. Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and seek medical attention immediately.
Although summertime can be reminiscent of a peaceful, tropical vacation on a daily basis — it can be just as grueling as the colder, less photogenic seasons of the year. If you’re looking to keep yourself in tip-top shape, then it’s best to take these helpful tips into consideration:
1. Get Enough Sleep
With longer, warmer nights and a relaxed routine, it may be tempting to stay awake later than usual (or perhaps sleep in more often). However, your sleep habits can influence your quality of life! Don’t sacrifice a good sleep routine; stick to a sleep schedule to regulate your body’s clock and avoid daytime naps, especially if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep in the evening. A comfortable mattress and pillows are also important for a good night’s rest. Ensure your sleep “equipment” provides enough lumbar and neck support to prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain.
2. Stress Less
While summer is often less stressful than say the holiday season, it doesn’t mean stress management isn’t needed. Accept that there are some things that you simply cannot control and make time to do things for YOU. Whether it’s practicing relaxation techniques (like meditation or yoga), exercising, or doing an activity you find most enjoyable. Should stressful events occur, give yourself enough rest and sleep to help your body recover.
3. Take Time Off
Have a slower schedule this summer? Take a vacation — or staycation — to unwind. According to recent studies, 52 percent of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017. Vacations aren’t only for exploration and making memories; they’re essential to your heart health. Time off helps you stress less, thus lowering your blood pressure and stress hormone cortisol.
4. Eat Right
We all know that a healthy diet can help you maintain proper weight, while also preventing certain health issues — but summertime cookouts, family parties, and weddings can present a lot of temptations. Fortunately, eating right doesn’t need to be overly complicated! Embrace fruits, vegetables, and substitute processed food with “real food” when possible. If you’re still not sure where to begin, we're here to help. With a doctor's referral, you can receive nutritional services here at KMC.
5. Don’t Push Off Necessary Screenings and Doctor Visits.
Routine screenings are critical when it comes to the early detection of diseases, making them easier to treat. Always take advantage of your slower calendar and schedule appointments to ensure a clean bill of health. Pro tip: Schedule back-to-school physicals early so that you have more time slots to choose from. Then, you’re one step closer to completing that back-to-school checklist.
6. Don’t Skip Hygiene
From brushing your teeth and washing your hands, to doing laundry and bathing, personal hygiene is essential for your health. With the hustle and bustle that summer brings, you may slack off with certain habits — but these, however, are the most important.
At Kirby Medical Center, we are committed to providing compassionate and quality healthcare services to our community. Whether you’re in need of Diagnostic Imaging or Quick Care, to name a few of our services, we’re always here to help. To learn more, please visit our website or call us today at 217.762.2115!