Pack Your Safety Game

The summer months seem to be over before they begin. It’s no wonder everyone is in a rush to complete their summer bucket list! But, when rushing from here to there, trying to pack everything in, it’s important to make sure you are not putting yourself and your loved ones at risk from suffering a medical issue.

Watch Your Speed

Chances are when you are in a rush that you are putting the pedal to the medal. Yet, no matter how late you are going to be, it is better to arrive safe than sorry.

Therefore, when driving from one destination to the other this summer, make sure you are giving yourself enough time to get where you need to be when you need to be there so that you are keeping yourself and others safe while on the road.

Remember, driving is one of the greatest responsibilities in life. When you are behind the wheel, make sure your attention is on the road 100-percent of the time. Put your phone and all other electronic devices away. Whoever is calling, or emailing, can wait until you are parked.

In addition, you need to slow down to ensure you are giving yourself enough time to react to what it is happening on the road to prevent an accident from occurring. The rule of thumb is to keep at least a two-second cushion in-between you and the car in front of you. However, if Mother Nature is acting up, you should make it a four-second cushion to be safe.

Got Water?

Especially during the hot, summer days, it is vital to ensure you are staying hydrated to prevent overheating and dehydration. Drinking water is one of the best ways to make sure you are staying hydrated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are variations to how much water each person should drink every day. However, it is best to aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. But, at least sipping on water periodically throughout the day can help in preventing dehydration.

Dehydration occurs when more water has moved out of the body than you have replenished. Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Confusion and Irritability

  • Dark Urine

  • Dizziness

  • Dry Skin

  • Fainting

  • Rapid Heartbeat

Since coffee and sugary beverages like soda can increase your risk of dehydration, it’s important to stick to sports drinks with electrolytes, water, which can be flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber, and milk to help keep you hydrated.

When on the go this summer, always make sure you have one or more of these beverages with you to ensure you are staying hydrated throughout the day.

Here Comes the Sun

If you have not already, make a habit to put sunscreen on before you leave the house every day – and re-apply every two to three hours.

One of the best ways to protect your skin from skin cancer is wearing sunscreen. And when you are in a hurry, one of the last things you forget is to put on sunscreen. Therefore, make it a part of your morning routine and put it on before you leave the house.

In addition to sunscreen, watching what you wear and bug spray that contains DEET can be extremely helpful in keeping bees, wasps, and other insects away. Bright colors and even floral prints can attract those pesky bugs; therefore, keep the colors solid, especially if you will be outdoors for a long period of time.

Preparation Is Key to Safety Success!

The best thing you can do for you and your loved ones this summer is to go ahead and prepare ahead of time for anything that might come your way. As a result, consider taking time each evening to pack for the activities of the next day.

In addition, for those “just in case” moments, pack the necessities, including:

  • Bug Spray

  • First Aid Kit (which includes Band-Aids, burn cream, aloe, hydrocortisone cream, etc.)

  • Sunscreen

  • Water

If you have your “safety bag” with you when you are on the go, you will always be prepared!

From a free-standing Emergency Department to Rehabilitation services and everything in-between, UAB Medical West team of professionals are here to help you regain your quality of life. Visit our website to learn more about the variety of services we offer to our community members.