By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
From sunshine and water to vacations and cookouts, summertime sparks special, unique feelings for each of us. However, one thing I think we can all agree on is summer never seems to last long enough! With such a short season to create so many lasting memories, let’s not waste a single moment due to a preventable injury or illness.
- Have Fun in the Sun – Safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun by wearing clothing that will protect your skin. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and wrap-around style sunglasses that absorb 100% of UV sunlight. Limit sun exposure and seek shade, especially during 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are their strongest. Generously apply broad-spectrum sunscreen over exposed skin and re-apply every two hours, especially after sweating or swimming.
- Make a Big Splash – Whether you are at the beach or swimming in a pool, it is important to obey all instructions posted on signs or from lifeguards. Sadly, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among 1 to 4 year olds according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and many of these drowning deaths and water-related injuries are highest in the warm weather months. Never swim alone, always have a buddy!
- Time to Eat – Food safety is important to keep in mind during picnics and gatherings. Remember the 2, 2-4 Rule. Hot, perishable foods that sit out longer than 2 hours are considered unsafe to eat. The USDA recommends throwing away any such food, as it is in the danger zone, where bacteria can rapidly produce. 2-inches is the desired depth of storage containers, as it allows hot food to cool quickly and evenly. 4 days is the amount of time that refrigerated leftovers are safe to eat.
- End Summer with a Bang – From Independence Day celebrations through Labor Day, fireworks are prevalent. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. If you do have fireworks at your home, please following these safety tips:
- Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution and make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- There’s an App for That – Our friends at the American Red Cross developed a First Aid app, which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The app is available for direct download from Apple or Google Play for Android app stores and is sponsored by Monsanto, a proud 3-star partner of the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. Get the app by texting “GETFIRST” to 90999.
These topics are some of the lessons children learn when they attend a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. Want to host a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in your local community during 2019? Applications are being accepted through July 15, 2018. For more information on how to apply, go to progressiveag.org or call 888- 257-3529.
Photo: At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®, like this one in Iowa, participants create bracelets with ultraviolet detecting beads to learn sun safety and the dangers of excessive sun exposure.