At Be Well Indy, our goal is to make sure you have all the information you need to live your healthiest life! Whether you are planning an overseas vacation, getting ready for a staycation, or will be working outdoors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest health tips, alerts, and social media updates include practical advice for travelers, swimmers, and everyone who wants to beat the summer heat.
Check out these 8 tips on how to stay safe and healthy this summer.
Travel abroad safely
Before traveling abroad, check out health and safety risks at your destination. Animal illnesses and drinking water might be very different from what you’re used to and could make you sick. Get needed vaccinations at least 4 to 6 weeks before you leave to ensure you’re protected by the time you travel.
CDC’s Summer Travel Abroad site has health and safety tips for anyone traveling outside the United States. CDC’s latest traveler’s health updates include information about measles and malaria. Many countries are experiencing measles outbreaks, including Brazil, England, France, Israel, Japan, and Ukraine. Check out CDC’s Vaccine Information Statements(VIS) to get the latest information. New anti-malarial medications are available for travelers to parts of the Caribbean, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. About 1,700 cases of malaria are diagnosed every year in U.S. travelers who go abroad.
Swimming, one of the most popular summer activities for children and adults, gets the spotlight May 20–26, when we observe Healthy and Safe Swimming Week.
This year’s theme, “Pool Chemistry for Healthy and Safe Swimming,” highlights the roles that swimmers, parents of young swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials play in preventing disease outbreaks, drowning, and pool chemical injuries.
CDC recommends that everyone check out the latest inspection score of pools where you plan to swim. Look for inspection scores online or on site. Chemicals like chlorine are added to pool water to kill germs and stop them from spreading, helping to keep swimmers healthy. However, mishandling pool chemicals can cause injuries. Owners and operators of both public and privately owned pools, hot tubs/spas, and water playgrounds can take steps to prevent pool chemical injuries.
Young Worker Safety and Health
Young workers (ages 15–24) have higher rates of job-related injury compared to adult workers. To help keep young workers safe at their summer jobs, CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is participating in the social media campaign, #MySafeSummerJob, to provide workplace safety and health information and resources to employers of youth, young workers, parents, and educators. My Safe Summer Job is a collaboration between government agencies—including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NIOSH—and numerous professional and non-profit organizations, including CareerSafe and the National Safety Council. The campaign is raising awareness about job-related hazards and how to address them, workers’ rights and responsibilities, voicing safety concerns on the job, and injury prevention.
Beat the heat and rays
Heat kills more than 600 people in the United States each year. Preventing heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion, is important for people of all ages, but extreme heat poses the greatest risk for people under age 4 and over 65, and anyone who has a pre-existing medical condition or who lives in a home without air conditioning. The best ways to protect yourself from the heat include staying cool, hydrated, and informed: find air-conditioning during hot hours and wear cool clothing, drink plenty of liquids, and pay attention to heat advisories. NIOSH offers several recommendations and tools that employers can incorporate into training, and workers can use in real-time, in order to help stay safe when working in the heat.
Sunburn is a common summertime injury. Unprotected skin can be burned by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes, but can take up to 12 hours for the skin to show the damage. CDC recommends staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when its UV rays are at their highest level. Sunscreen is recommended for anyone working and playing outside in the summer, even on cloudy days. Hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves are also recommended for outdoor activities.
Children’s health and safety
Summer activities, such as riding a bike and playground time, are great for a child’s development. To keep kids healthy and safe all summer long, be sure children use helmets that fit well while riding their bikes and follow playground safety tips from CDC’s website. Parents should ensure children stay safe while traveling in cars. Children should be properly buckled in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt —whichever is appropriate for their weight, height, and age — on every trip. Properly buckling up reduces serious and fatal injuries by up to 80 percent. Children under age 13 are best protected in the back seat.
Stay up to date on vaccines
Making sure your child is up to date on vaccines is key to protecting them against serious diseases throughout their life. The summer is a great time to make appointments for your child to get recommended vaccines or to catch up on vaccines they might have missed when they were younger. CDC’s recommended immunization schedule is safe and effective at protecting your child from 14 infectious diseases like measles, chickenpox, and rubella. It’s based on how your child’s immune system responds to vaccines at various ages, and how likely your child is to be exposed to a particular disease. CDC also recommends three vaccines for all 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls to prevent infections that can cause meningitis, HPV cancers, and whooping cough. More information about how vaccines work, where to find vaccines in your area, and what vaccines your child needs can be found on the CDC vaccine website, www.cdc.gov/vaccines.
Food poisoning peaks during summer months due to warmer temperatures, which can let foodborne germs thrive. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from eating contaminated food. CDC also has advice for food safety when grilling.
Protect yourself and your family from insect bites by using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with active ingredients such as DEET. Apply repellents only to exposed skin or clothing, as directed on the product label and always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.