LRHS outlines summer safety

Little River gives tips during National Safety Month

The National Safety Council (NSC) recognizes June as “National Safety Month”, a time designated to spreading safety awareness throughout communities. As summer approaches, many activities pose high risk of injury if safety precautions are not applied. With temperatures rising to the mid- 90s, many people are unaware of the health risks involved with sun and heat exposure.

Sunburn and heat illnesses such as heat exhaustion have mild to severe symptoms and can be detrimental to one’s health.


Sunburn is produced by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (the sun’s rays). Overexposure may cause symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness; but excessive ultraviolet radiation exposure is the leading cause of non-malignant skin tumors and can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion affects individuals who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headache, nausea, vomiting, severe thirst, and fatigue. If uncontrolled, heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.

To reduce or prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion, the NSC recommends following these safety tips:

• Stay hydrated by drinking water or a sports drink every 15 minutes

• Take breaks often (preferably in the shade) to allow your body to cool off

• Minimize sun exposure by wearing loose-fitting clothing, a hat, and sunglasses

Wear a sunscreen

With the 4th of July around the corner, communities should also be aware of the importance of fireworks safety.

According to a report conducted by John R. Hall Jr. from the National Fire Protection Association, in 2006 an estimated 32,600 reported fires ignited by fireworks. These fires resulted in 6 civilian deaths, 70 civilian injuries, and $34 million in direct property damage.

The National Safety Council suggests the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to view a public fireworks display conducted by professionals, however, if you decide to use individual fireworks, they must be used outside of city limits, and should be handled with care.

Some safety tips for using fireworks include:

• Light one device at a time

• Maintain a safe distance after lighting

• Keep a bucket of water nearby to ex tinguish malfunctioning fireworks

• Never allow young children to light fireworks

• Make sure older children are using fireworks under adult supervision

Please be aware of the safety risks involved in all summer activities. The Little River Healthcare System wishes you a fun and safe summer.

For more safety tips on other summer activities, please visit our website at

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2010-06-03 digital edition

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