Safety tips for enjoying the heat of summer


NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — With the Blizzard of 2015, and an unrelenting winter that finally gave way to sun, many of us have just been aching to get outdoors and enjoy this summer.

Local doctors say it’s immensely important to remember safety precautions in the heat. Some people who don’t use sufficient sunscreen and drink plenty of water, sometimes end up in emergency rooms.

“It’s a bit surprising how often a good day at the beach or at the pool can go bad from simple things like forgetting those basics,” said Dr. Jeff Gaines of Newport Hospital.

Every day during the summer, Dr. Gaines says patients are coming in with dehydration or sunburns.

Outside, during hot days, you should drink the equivalent of an average-sized bottle of water every hour, Dr. Gaines said.

Sean McKenna, a Newport resident, said Tuesday a friend of his recently wound up in the emergency room for dehydration. “He was telling me the whole story. He says, ‘can you believe, at the end of it, the only thing they told me to do was drink more water?'” McKenna said.

“A lot of times you’ll find where you’re at a place where it’s not handy, and you don’t want to interrupt your fun to go out and get it. And, if you bring it yourself, you tend to use it more,” said Dr. Gaines.

With sunscreen, you should also remember to re-apply it every hour or two.

“Even my family, when we go out, we tend to put it on right when we head out the first time — but then, when you’re swimming and playing and sweating, you tend to forget that you need to put it back on again,” Dr. Gaines said.

Foot injuries can also be common in the summer, when people get hurt swimming near rocks or walking barefoot, so you’re advised to make sure you wear shoes or water socks that protect your feet.

Holes in the sand at the beach can also present a potential risk, as kids can fall in, get hurt, or even suffocated or killed. The action you can take is easy: just to kick sand in the hole and cover it up.