With summer temperatures soaring, Ozarks Healthcare physicians are sharing valuable advice on staying safe during high summer temperatures and holiday celebrations. By following safety tips, individuals can protect themselves and their loved ones from potential risks.“ High temperatures can be harmful to anyone who doesn’t take safety precautions, but they can especially be dangerous for vulnerable populations, like adults over age 60 and children,” Dr. Kendell Clarkston, Ozarks Healthcare Hospitalist Director, said. “One of the best ways for all ages of people to protect themselves is staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and sugary beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.” Clarkston also recommends dressing appropriately during warm weather and to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Sunscreen should be applied to skin and reapplied regularly, especially after swimming or sweating.“ Planning activities ahead of the hottest parts of the day can allow you to still make the most of summer and enjoy the outdoors,” Clarkston said. “If you’re going to be outside, aim for cooler hours in the mornings or evenings.” Along with summertime heat conditions and illnesses, Fourth of July celebrations can pose serious health risks. Dr. Korby Pogue, emergency medicine physician at Ozarks Healthcare, emphasizes the significance of prioritizing safety during Fourth of July celebrations, especially in the midst of hot summer conditions.“ The Fourth of July is easily one of our busiest days and nights in the Emergency Department,” Pogue said.“ Some of the most common injuries we see are burns that come from the mishandling of fireworks and grills. Keeping a safe distance from fireworks and following exact directions on packaging to launch fireworks as recommended are both crucial to reduce risk of burns. Just like fireworks, it’s important to never leave grills unattended. Avoid wearing loose clothing that could easily catch fire, and make sure children cannot reach grill surfaces.” Pogue said another major safety concern around summer weather and the Fourth of July is water safety. Lifejackets and flotation devices should be used as recommended, especially for children and those who cannot swim. Avoiding alcohol when swimming and operating watercrafts can be the difference between life and death.“ Drownings can happen in a very short amount of time,” Pogue said. “Children should always especially be monitored near water. An unsupervised slip into the pool or the lake can lead to a child not being able to be resuscitated.” Other Fourth of the July safety tips recommended by Dr. Pogue include practicing safe food handling and preparation of food to prevent foodborne illnesses. Keeping perishable foods refrigerated until ready to cook and avoiding leaving the mat room temperature for extended periods can keep dangerous food bacteria from developing. Foods should be cooked thoroughly, and separate utensils should be used for raw and cooked items. Ozarks Healthcare’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, year-round. Should you need emergency care during the upcoming summer holiday, do not delay seeking care in a timely manner. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare’s emergency services, visitwww.ozarkshealthcare.com