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Summer Safety

Summer Safety: What You Need to Know

  • According to the American Cancer Society, about 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year.
  • Overuse injuries commonly affect athletes, and they are most often caused by poor technique, inadequate warmups or overexertion.
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet light can drastically affect your eyes, possibly leading to the development of cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium (or surfer’s eye, an abnormal growth on the white of the eye) and photokeratitis (sunburned eyes).
  • The overwhelming majority of Lyme disease cases are concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

Summer Travel Advice

Pregnant woman seated aboard a plane

Millions of Americans travel abroad each year. Safety should be a prime consideration for anyone traveling outside the United States. There are certain precautions that travelers can take to improve their safety.

Traveling Abroad

According to the CDC, injuries from motor vehicle crashes pose the greatest risk of injury to international travelers.

Visit the Safety While Traveling Abroad page for tips on motor vehicle safety, how to avoid swimming, violence and animal-associated hazards for more information.

Zika Virus

In 2015, the Zika virus began spreading throughout the Americas and has been linked to fetal microcephaly as well as other neurologic abnormalities.

If you plan on traveling abroad and are concerned about the Zika virus, you can learn more about on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Zika virus website.

Summer Skin Safety

Father and daughter enjoying time on the beach

One of the last things you’re thinking about when you’re relaxing on the beach is the possibility of developing skin cancer later in life. But how you care for your skin now may make a big difference down the road. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world, accounting for almost half of cancer cases.

According to Johns Hopkins dermatologist Timothy Wang, the best ways to protect your skin during the summer include:

  • Staying out of the sun during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Applying broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
  • Avoiding tanning beds.

For more information on summer skin safety, check out these resources in the Johns Hopkins Health Library:

Live Facebook Chat: Skin Health

Join dermatologist Kate Puttgen, of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, for a Facebook chat on Tuesday, July 19 from noon to 1 p.m. ET. Dr. Puttgen will answer your skin-health questions, provide tips on staying safe in the sun and more.

Ask a question.

Water Safety

Father and his two sons operating a boat

Whether your family is spending time in the pool, at the beach or on a boat this summer, you should be aware of the proper safety precautions to follow. Notably, parents of young children should:

  • Never leave your child unsupervised near water at or in the home, or around any body of water, including a swimming pool.
  • Make sure any boating activities include the proper flotation devices, like U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, in case of an emergency.
  • Consider learning CPR, especially if your child is involved in water activities with regularity.

For more tips on water safety, visit the Water Safety for Parents page.

Heat Exhaustion

Athletic woman resting after a run

As the summer gets hotter, be on alert for signs of heat exhaustion. To prevent heat stroke, heat exhaustion or cramps, Johns Hopkins sports medicine expert Dr. Raj Deu recommends:

  • Slowly becoming acclimated to the heat.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Be on the lookout for warning signs of heat exhaustion which can include disorientation, dizziness, vomiting, and/or the development of a headache.

Dr. Deu notes that if you see any of the warning signs, stop what you’re doing, drink some water and allow yourself or your loved one time to cool down.

For more information about staying cool in the summer sun, visit these resources:

Eye Safety

Young girl holding a sparkler

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency room each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. As families and communities make plans for fireworks this summer, the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins is joining the American Academy of Ophthalmology in shining a light on fireworks safety

To help prevent these injuries, we’re debunking four myths on consumer fireworks use.

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