With the arrival of summer and hot weather upon us, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, is encouraging California residents to follow these top-10 helpful tips to stay safe this summer:
• Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time. When working outside, drink plenty of water or juice even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade.
• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck, and wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes.
• Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.
• Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15)
15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours — sunscreen prevents skin cancer, the number one cancer affecting Californians and prevents premature aging.
• Never, EVER leave infants, children or frail elderly unattended in a parked car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.
• To prevent overheating, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths — if you or someone experiences a rapid, strong pulse, feels delirious, becomes unconscious or has a body temperature above 102, call 911 immediately.
• Prevent children from drowning by providing adult supervision at all times and having a safety barrier that surrounds a pool or spa. Drowning is the leading cause of injury deaths for children under five.
• Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, which can mimic influenza symptoms such as fever, body aches and eye pain.
The virus can cause serious health complications and in rare cases, death.
• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.
Mosquitoes usually bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent during those times.
• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls — mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in standing water.
For more tips on staying cool in the summer sun, go online to www.cdph.ca.gov.