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Bookmark and Share Tips to enjoy an injury-free summer

It’s summer. School is out, grilling is in full force and summer vacations are planned. While summer is a fun time for outdoor fun, it’s important to remember to take precautions to prevent injuries and illnesses. Remember these tips when enjoying your favorite summertime activities.

Sports and play safety

  • Make sure your child wears protective gear during sports and recreation. For example, when in-line skating and skateboarding, use knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet.
  • Check to make sure that the surfaces under playground equipment are safe, soft and well-maintained (such as wood chips or sand, not dirt or grass). Injuries are the leading cause of death in children ages 19 and younger.

Gardening precautions

  • Woman gardeningWear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts and certain contaminants.
  • Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Use insect repellent containing DEET. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants tucked in your socks. Follow instructions and warning labels on chemicals and lawn and garden equipment.
  • Make sure equipment works properly.
  • Sharpen tools carefully.
  • Keep harmful chemicals, tools and equipment out of children's reach.

Beat the heat

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar, which cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Keep your food safe

  • Use a meat thermometer to make sure that you cook meat thoroughly. Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F to kill germs found in raw and undercooked meat. Place cooked meat on a clean platter.
  • Wash hands, kitchen surfaces and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Always keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot and promptly refrigerate leftovers.

What to do in the case of an emergency…
We hope you have a safe summer. However, if you need immediate care, Novant Health offers convenient emergency services and urgent care locations throughout our community.

When to visit an urgent care center
When to visit the emergency department

If you have an injury or illness and are unsure where to go, call the Novant Health Care Now line at 704-384-CARE (2273). Care Now is a free service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can evaluate your illness or injury over the phone and advise the best course of treatment, whether it be a trip to the emergency room, an urgent care visit or an appointment with a primary care physician.