Staying healthy in the heat

By George Darany
Summer is in full swing in Michigan and while many of us have enjoyed the chance to get outside and explore the natural beauty our state has to offer, we need to remember that this season presents its own unique challenges that we must consider in order to stay safe during the summer months.

Just last week we saw the temperature push triple digits regularly and there are some easy things we can all do to make sure our families and friends have a happy, healthy and safe summer season.

We need to remember that our senior citizens, young children and people suffering from illness are particularly susceptible to the dangers associated with the extreme temperatures we’ve experienced this summer. In order to beat the heat and stay safe, the American Red Cross offers the following tips:

• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often.

• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

• Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities when possible.

• Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.

• Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

• Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Additionally, a dip in the pool is a great summer pastime for the entire family, and with proper precautions, you can keep everyone safe all summer long. One of the most important things you can do is make sure that children are properly supervised in and around the pool at all times.

A fence around all four sides of the pool will help prevent young children from getting into the pool without proper supervision. Keep rescue equipment like life preservers and a shepherd’s hook on hand, and always stay within arm’s length of a toddler or an infant when in or around water.

Pool and spa drains are potentially dangerous for children and adults, as the suction can trap a person underwater. Do not use a pool if there are broken or missing drain covers. Contact your pool operator or a pool maintenance company if you have any worries or concerns about the pool your children swim in.

For more tips about keeping you children happy and safe this summer, please go to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website at www.aap.org.

I hope these tips will help all the residents of Dearborn have a safe and enjoyable summer. While we all want to get outdoors when the weather’s nice to take a dip or catch a Tigers game, making sure that we take the appropriate precautions is the best way to ensure a good time.

(State Rep. George Darany represents the 15th House District. To contact him- call (855) 775-1515 or email him at georgetdarany@house.mi.gov. To sign up for his e-newsletter, go to his website, house.mi.gov/gdarany.)

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