Summer is here; safety should be top priority

Today marks the official start of summer — an often long-awaited and typically very brief portion of the year in the Upper Peninsula. Short-lived as it may be, the website landmarkhealth.org has issued some tips for keeping safe in the summer months. They are as follows:

≤ Stay cool; if you are outdoors, take breaks from the heat, especially during the hottest part of the day.

≤ Stay hydrated; drink plenty of fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

≤ Stay protected; avoid strenuous or high-energy activities. Remember to wear loose and lightweight, light-colored clothing. Wear sunscreen before going out, and when outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible and wear a hat with a wide brim.

≤ Watch for signs of heat stress; on hot days, watch for signs of heat illness in yourself and others. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are possible on hot days.

The American Red Cross also issued an extensive list of summer safety tips on its website, including outdoor food preparation safety. It states:

≤ Wash your hands, utensils and workstation before preparing the food.

≤ Separate uncooked meats, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods like salads, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and desserts. Use separate plates and utensils to prevent cross-contamination.

≤ Bring hand sanitizer if your picnic site doesn’t have hand-washing facilities. If you are going to cook on the grill, bring a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.

≤ Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

≤ Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.

≤ Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.

≤ Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.

≤ Don’t leave perishable food out in the sun.

For the full list of summer safety tips, visit www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/summer-safety.html. We hope you and your family stay safe out there, and have a great summer season.


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