6 Summer Health Hazards: How to Protect Yourself

"Teenagers are very vulnerable, because they often mix alcohol with swimming, especially among college-age kids," said Moseley.

"Alcohol use dulls the senses and allows you to get injured more easily because your judgment is more impaired," said Hoxhaj.

What Should You Do?

One of the best things you can do to prevent pool-related injuries is to avoid alcohol if you're going to be swimming in a pool or any other body of water, and especially if you plan to go boating or use other recreational water vehicles.

"People don't realize they've had too much to drink and they get out on a boat or a jet ski. They're still impaired, and it's extremely dangerous at night," said Irvin.

There are some other tips that will help keep you and your family safe in the water this summer. Children should be closely supervised, and very young children should be in sight 100 percent of the time they're in or near the water.

Pools should have fences around them.

Keep pool chemicals far away from the reach of children.

Never go into the water unless you know how deep it is.

If you do fall and hit your head and you start to feel nauseous, lightheaded or lose consciousness, seek medical attention immediately.

If you fall and your ankle is in an awkward position and it starts to hurt, it should be checked by a medical professional.


What Are the Dangers?

The bright, warm sunshine is one of summer's biggest draws. People flock to beaches and other outdoor areas to catch some rays and enjoy the warm glow.

The pursuit of sunlight, though, can be hazardous to your health.

"If you get two severe burns with blistering, that puts you at risk for melanoma later," said Irvin.

"There's an epidemic of malignant melanoma in the older years due to sun exposure in the early years," Smith added.

Who's Going to Get Hurt?

"If you're fair-skinned, don't stay outside on the beach without sunscreen," said Moseley.

Children are also particularly susceptible, in part because of the amount of time they spend outdoors.

What Should You Do?

To protect yourself and your children from sunburns, experts recommend using what they call common sense. "Don't use sunblock on a child who is six months old or younger," said Irvin. "The reason is because they shouldn't be in the sun at all."

"If older children do get sunburned, cool them with a cloth and apply moisturizing creams, but don't use petroleum-based products, because they can prevent evaporation of heat," Irvin added.

"Wear a hat and use sunscreen of 30 spf or above," said Smith. "Apply it before going out and after sweating a lot or getting out of the water."

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