Think Healthy

A Safe Summer

5 simple tips to keep the season injury- and illness-free

Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining and it’s time for outdoor activities like barbecues and outdoor sports. With all this fun ahead, it can be easy to lose sight of safety in the summer. Here are some tips to make sure your favorite summer activities are worry-free.

Shield the Sun

Too much sun exposure can raise your risk of developing skin cancer, accelerate the signs of aging or, at the very least, cause a painful sunburn. Protect yourself by wearing sunglasses and a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and don’t forget vulnerable spots like ears and feet. If you do suffer a sunburn, soothe it with a cold compress and moisturizer, and be sure to stay hydrated. Seek a doctor if there is blistering or you develop symptoms like dizziness and nausea.

Dine Worry-free

Barbecues and picnics are perfect ways to enjoy the weather, but there are special considerations for preparing, serving and storing food outdoors. Make sure to keep all food in the fridge until it is ready to grill or serve, cook it thoroughly (a meat thermometer is handy), and quickly put cooked and prepared food back in the fridge once everyone has prepared their plate. And be sure not to use the same utensils for raw and cooked food.

Mind the Grill

According to the National Fire Protection Association, grills are the cause of 10,600 home fires each year in the U.S. Additionally, 19,700 patients go to the ER every year because of grill-related injuries. To protect people, pets and structures, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends making a 3-foot safety zone around your grill. Stay nearby while it is on and clean it when you’re done.

Play with Peace of Mind

If participating in a sport, be sure to warm up, drink plenty of water and pay attention to the weather. If it’s hot and sunny, wear sunglasses, regularly reapply plenty of sunscreen and slowly build up your pace to help your body adjust to the hot temps. If a summer storm is rolling in, stay indoors and wait for it to pass, or seek shelter immediately if you’re already on the field.

Prevent Bumps and Bruises

Wear protective equipment specific to your sport (like a helmet or pads), and treat any minor injuries immediately with ice or bandages. If the injury requires the attention of a specialist, UHS Sports Medicine is available to treat you and get you back in the game. Call the UHS Sports Medicine hotline at 607-762-3865. For anything life-threatening, immediately call 911.


If you have medical needs this summer, whether for sports medicine or just a simple check-up, visit to find a provider near you.