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Funny SunburnsWelcome to July, and summer is officially in full effect.  The following list is considered the top ten summer accidents just waiting to happen. Review the list and takes steps to ensure you protect yourself in when at the beach, in the car or out for a walk.

1. Bug Bites – Bug bites seem annoying and itchy but can also bring an infectious disease like West Nile or Lyme disease. Take proper precautions after dusk or when in wooded or bug infested areas. Bring long pants and a long sleeve shirt which you can change into and a quality bug repellant.
2. Dehydration – Hot days can rob your body of the fluids necessary for survival. Both people and pets need to have proper hydration. As the mercury goes up, keep a supply of fresh water or electrolyte beverages handy. Monitor children who may not recognize the signs of dehydration as quickly as adults.
3. Driving Accidents – This includes driver fatigue, defensive driving, driving under the influence and more. Statistics show that accidents while driving are the number one killer for young people. Avoid summer car accidents by never drinking and driving, keeping summer road trips to a reasonable length and avoid operating a vehicle while fatigued.
4. Drowning – It only takes a split second for someone to drown. Paying proper attention around a pool or beach is far more important than the latest summer novel. Annually, over 3,000 people drown in pool-related accidents and more than 650 drown in boating accidents.
5. Eye Damage – Exposure to the UV rays in sunlight can damage your eyes. Wear sunglasses that filter out UV light. Be sure to wear them, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to your eyes.
6. Food Poisoning – 76 million people suffer from some form of food poisoning. Eating outdoors, such as picnics, bring food out into the open where it can stay warm too long increasing the spread of foodborne illnesses. Pack food in a dry secure cooler with a reusable freezer pack.
7. Heat Stroke – Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening. In heatstroke, the body’s core temperature rises. Much like a fever, extremely high body temperatures can lead to permanent damage. Again, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when possible.
8. Injury From Fireworks – Annually, almost 10,000 people are injured by fireworks so severely that they must go to the emergency room. Avoid these serious injuries by leaving fireworks to the professionals. If you insist on doing fireworks in your own backyard, use common sense safety, understand what each firework does and keep children and pets at a safe distance.
9. Skin Cancer – Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. Over one million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. While a golden tan seems the most desirable summer accessory, common sense says wear lots of sunscreen and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when possible.
10. Unsafe Sex – Stop rolling your eyes – this one is also a very real possibility. While the spontaneity of a summer romance is quite exhilarating, the risks from a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, are very real. Before engaging in any summer fling, know in advance how you will protect yourself.

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