Summer Safety: Experts Advise Precautions during Activities

To stay hydrated during the summer months, experts say you can add flavoring to your water from products on the market to fruit to make it more likely you'll drink enough. (morguefile.com)

To stay hydrated during the summer months, experts say you can add flavoring to your water from products on the market to fruit to make it more likely you’ll drink enough. (morguefile.com)

There’s no shortage of summer fun in Tennessee, from Fun Fest in Kingsport, to Elvis Week in Memphis. And while those activities present great ways to celebrate the state’s heritage and support local economies, the Tennessee Department of Health advises you take precautions before heading out the door. Dr. Tim Jones, state epidemiologist with the Tennessee Department of Health, said taking steps to protect you and your family is key to enjoying the season.
“We certainly want people to be outside during good weather, enjoy their environment, get exercise, and not be concerned about being out there, but to take common-sense steps that they’re safe,” he said.
Mosquito and tick bites are a particular concern this summer, with the potential spread of the Zika virus and Lyme disease. Jones said to apply any insect repellents after sunscreen and to use products that contain DEET. Also important, he said, is sun protection and proper hydration in hot temperatures.
Jones added because bacterial illnesses contracted from drinking or exposure to contaminated water is a concern, think about where you are swimming and its proximity to potential contamination.
“Be careful about infectious diseases that can be acquired in water, and I think particularly if people are in lakes or streams or rivers that are near farms, or where there might be animals nearby,” he added.
Jones said it’s important to drink when you feel thirsty, since that is the body’s natural way to let you know it needs water. He added that cold water is the best way to rehydrate and you can add flavors to make it easier to drink enough.