As we head into the summer months, first aid safety becomes even more important. The time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is what ER doctors and nurses call “trauma season.” Summer activities tend to increase injuries and illnesses, such as heat illness and swimming accidents, which creates an uptick hospital emergency rooms visits. Below we’ll discuss 5 ways to help prepare you for a summer emergency.

Keep a First Aid Safety Kit Nearby

Although keeping a first aid kit handy is not common for many, as 44% of people in the U.S. don’t have first aid kits, it can greatly reduce injuries and even save lives. Especially helping with an emergency until medical help arrives. Keep a first aid safety kit equipped with items like gauze pads, adhesive bandages and antiseptics.

  • Include any personal items (medications and emergency phone numbers)
  • Check the kit often
  • Check expiration dates and replace any expired items

Be Aware of Signs of Heat Illnesses

One of the most critical aspects of summer safety is staying hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you are engaging in outdoor activities. Heat illness includes heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. While it can happen to anyone, it often happens to those outside in high heat or exposed to prolonged, direct sun exposure.  Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else starts to feel weak, nauseated, or has excessive thirst – as these are all signs of heat exposure. Learn more about heat illness.

Be Prepared for Water-Related Emergencies

Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death, particularly in children. In fact, approximately 4,000 unintentional drowning deaths occur annually in the United States (CDC). Learn and practice CPR, as it can be lifesaving in the event of a water-related emergency. Heading out to the pool? It’s a great idea to swim with a buddy and don’t swim beyond your abilities.

Prevent Foodborne Illnesses

Summer picnics and barbecues are fun but can pose risks for foodborne illnesses if proper food safety practices are not followed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises keeping perishable foods in a cooler with ice packs and maintaining a temperature below 40°F. Separate raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination and cook meats to their recommended internal temperatures. Washing hands, utensils, and surfaces frequently can further prevent the spread of bacteria.

Become CPR/First Aid Safety Certified

Whether it’s a minor injury like a cut or a more serious situation such as a heart attack, the knowledge and skills gained during CPR certification allows you to stabilize the condition of the injured person until medical help arrives. If you’re looking to become CPR/First Aid certified OSTS can help! Our courses cover a wide range of scenarios, from treating minor cuts and bruises to administering CPR. Learn more about our CPR/First Aid course.

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