Less Known Summer Dangers


As Calgary thaws out nicely and the sky finally stops raining to let in some heat, there’s something relaxing about summer that seems to melt worry and stress away. There’s nothing better than flip-flops, cold drinks, barbecues, long walks in Fish Creek or Prince’s Island, or just sitting on the porch reading and enjoying the weather. But summer isn’t all fun and relaxation. It can actually be pretty dangerous.

Food Poisoning.  We all know the dangers of dehydration and skin cancer, but food poisoning often goes overlooked. Remember that with the heat, food is going to spoil much faster when it’s left out on the counter. Never leave meat to thaw outside the fridge. You can defrost it using a microwave, by running warm water over it, or just leaving it in the fridge a few days. Look for signs of spoilage before cooking food up into something yummy that may disguise the taste of rot.

Head Injury. Almost every day I see kids and adults riding bikes with no helmets or, worse, with unbuckled helmets. As adults and kids spend more time outside riding bicycles and horses, in-line skating, and skateboarding, the likelihood of injury also increases. In North America, a traumatic brain injury occurs more than once every twenty seconds. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you or anyone in your family. Wear a helmet.

Drowning. It is very easy for children to drown only metres from their parents. The Hollywood drowning scene with victims screaming for help simply doesn’t happen most of the time. Drowning is quiet, it’s often inconspicuous, and in a little over five minutes without air, brain damage is almost guaranteed even if your child can be revived. Educate yourself and your family on the signs of drowning. Communicate often with everyone in the water and understand that being cautious can save lives. Also remember that life jackets and PFDs shouldn’t be optional on small boats and personal watercraft. Make sure your children are wearing their PFDs correctly; make sure you wear yours correctly—if only to be a good role model.

Summer and the activities that come with it are full of danger, but only if you don’t use the proper equipment and have adequate education and experience. And while keeping this in mind, don’t forget the basics. Wearing hats, using sunscreen and bug-spray, and drinking plenty of water can go a long ways to protecting you from lasting damage from the sun and heat. We here at the Medicine Shoppe hope you all have a long, fun summer and remember to keep your family and yourself safe.

Need help deciding what to use to protect your skin from insects and UV rays? Or is it too late and now you can’t figure out which product is best for relieving sunburn and bug bites? Stop at the Medicine Shoppe on Crowfoot and get the expert help you need.

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