Healthy Habits: Summer safety begins with planning ahead

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - Summer is here as the seasons of vacations, adventures and outdoor activities of all kinds.

Vidant EastCare Outreach Coordinator, Chuck Strickland, says many injuries he's seen as a paramedic are preventable with proper planning and protective measures.

Strickland offers these tips:

ENVIRONMENTAL PREPAREDNESS

- Preparedness is important, especially for the very young, elderly or those with chronic conditions.
- Staying hydrated is one of the biggest things you can do in any event, but if you are on medication always be sure to bring it with you in case you need it.
- You also should be ready to handle whatever environment you are in.
- This means if you are camping, be sure to bring bug spray along because mosquitoes can carry a number of illnesses.
- If you are at the beach, sunscreen is critical, especially for young children. Look for sunscreen SPF 30 or higher for the best protection.
- These items may seem small but can help make outdoor activities more safe and comfortable.
- If possible, do your outdoor activities before lunch. After lunch and into the afternoon hours are generally the hottest part of the day. That will reduce your exposure to the environments.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
- Proper equipment is also important for outdoor safety. This is especially true for those who like to ride motorcycles, dirt bikes or ATVs. Always wear a full face helmet – this is the most important piece of equipment you can have.
- If you are boating or kayaking, always be sure to wear a personal flotation device. In 2017 alone, drowning caused 3,709 deaths.
- If you are camping, wear good hiking boots to protect your ankles and wear long sleeve shirts and pants to protect you from cuts or abrasions.
- One of the most important things you can have with you at all times is a first aid kit. There can be life saving items inside from tourniquets to band aids.
- When leaving alone for excursions, let somebody know where you will be and what time you should return. This will be essential so that rescuers will know where to look in the event that you are injured or sick.