Remember to stay cool this summer

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, June 19, 2015

Summer has officially arrived and schools across the district have let out for summer break. In our community this time of year, children are spending more time outdoors, riding bikes with their friends or playing baseball or softball in little league. With prolonged exposure to the sun and temperatures on the rise, it is important to remember critical summer safety measures for you and your family.

Every year, Hoosiers are impacted by the harsh effects of summer, leading to potentially harmful and, in some cases, lift-threatening situations. To better prepare for the months ahead, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) serves as an excellent resource and has some helpful tips to keep you out of harm’s way.

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S. As temperatures climb above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, overexposure can be extremely dangerous, especially for children or the elderly. Always stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking water, avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages and take the time to cool off in an air-conditioned building before going back into the heat. Additionally, make sure you apply sunscreen regularly and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. It is also important to never leave animals or children by themselves in a car, even if you leave the vehicle for only a few minutes.

Although these steps can mitigate the amount of heat-related incidents, it is important to know some of the warning signs just in case one should occur. There are multiple warning signs of heat exhaustion that you should be able to recognize, including dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, a flushed looking appearance or fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, move to a shaded or cool place, put cold rags on your wrists, neck or face and drink plenty of water. If there is no improvement, then immediately contact emergency services.

In high temperatures, people in our community often go swimming at public pools or in one of the many lakes we have in southeast Indiana. This summer, when you are out enjoying the lake or swimming pool, I hope you will make sure to keep water safety in mind.

Swimming is the most popular activity for children in the U.S., so it is paramount that you are careful when letting your children go into the water. If your children are not skilled swimmers or have not received proper lessons, make sure they are equipped with a flotation device such as a life vest or arm floats. At the lake, children should also wear foot protection and always have a life jacket on when in the water or on a boat.

I hope the next time you take a trip to Brookville Lake or go swimming at Memorial Pool in Batesville, you will use some of these safety tips which will ensure that your enjoy all that our area has to offer while being safe in the progress. For more information or summer safety tips, please visit http://www.in.gov/dhs/3382.htm

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Rep. Ziemke (R-Batesville) represents portions of Rush, Fayette, Franklin, Ripley and Decatur counties. She serves as Vice Chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. She also serves on the Courts and Criminal Code Committee and Select Committee on Government Reduction.