OP-ED: Stay safe during summer fun

Published 12:48 am Wednesday, June 9, 2021

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After the Summer of 2020, everyone is ready to experience the joys of Summer this year. With the exposure of the heat and sun, we have to stay aware of the dangers such as food poisoning, drowning, allergy attacks, heat-related illnesses, sunburns and the stress of traveling.

National Safety Council offers these safety tips:

Beat the Heat

Anybody can be at risk for a heat-related illness. Follow these summer safety tips, like taking extra breaks and drinking lots of water.

Bug Safety

Mosquitoes can cause a number of illnesses, including Zika Virus and West Nile Virus. Learn what you can do to protect yourself at work and play.


Emergency departments see more than 20,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground-related traumatic brain injury each year.


Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, fireworks displays – and plenty of visits to emergency rooms, especially during July.

Water Safety

Drowning caused 3,709 deaths in 2017. The younger the child, the greater the risk.


Bicyclists must take extra precautions when they ride. They often share the road with vehicles, but injuries can happen even on a bike path.


Everyone falls, but there’s a right way to do it. In 2017, 98,486 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms after being injured skateboarding.


Most boating experiences are positive. But joyful times quickly can turn deadly if boaters are not vigilant about safety – at all times.

Pedestrian Safety

Cell phone distracted walking is a huge problem, and rarely are we more vulnerable than when walking, crossing streets and negotiating traffic.

While the Centers For Disease Control has recently eased mask-wearing guidelines for fully vaccinated people who are outdoors, UnitedHealthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hiren Patel, notes that now is a good time to remind families that they need to be extremely cautious if they are participating in summer travel.

Patel emphasizes that while millions of Americans are getting vaccinated, it will take more time to create ‘herd immunity.’ The CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated.

For those who choose to travel this summer, Patel emphasizes steps that should be taken:

  • If you are traveling out-of-state make sure you check that state’s local restrictions which are changing daily. Also, download your health plan’s mobile app which may provide a list of local in-network providers and facilities should you get sick during travel.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely.
  • Regardless of state restrictions, maintain as much social distance as possible, especially when indoors.
  • Keep your mask on unless you are eating or drinking, and if you are consuming food and drink, distance yourself from others.
  • Wash your mask regularly if using a cloth mask; soak your cloth mask in bleach for five minutes and then rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Keep a supply of hand sanitizer with you and use it, especially if you are about to eat or drink something.
  • Do not share food or drink with anyone.
  • Do not allow others to use your cell phone, especially to make a call or take a photo.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com