June 19th, 2024

Viva Vitality: Keep your cool in the summer heat

By Medicine Hat News on July 13, 2018.

Feelin’ hot, hot, hot!

Yes, it’s summer, time to keep your cool and stay healthy and alive in hot weather.

The higher temperatures climb at this time of year, the more the water looks attractive to swimmers.

Water makes for a great place to cool off. But it can also be hazardous, especially for swimmers.

Pools and other supervised swim spots are great. But, if you enjoy swimming in the open water — a natural area without a lifeguard — there are some ideas to consider.

To stay safe, think of the following:

Know your ability. Take swimming lessons and make sure those you are with also know how to swim.

Never swim alone. Always skinny dip with a friend.

Swim sober. Drinking can affect your good judgment.

Check the weather before heading out. Weather can change a safe situation to a dangerous one in a very short time.

Know before you go. Avoid swimming in places you don’t know to be safe.

Wear a life jacket.

Make yourself familiar with a new area. Get to know a new area slowly. Walk in and check the depth. Look for currents.

Talk to local swimmers. Learn from others’ experiences of possible dangers in the waters.

Swim parallel and close to shore when in a lake or river.

Protect your feet. Wear something to protect your feet, especially when wading.

Make sure you have a way to get out. Remember, when you enter the water, rocks and mud can make your exit more difficult than you think.

There are safe ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Know the risks. Plan carefully and enjoy the summer.

On the road

Traffic volumes increase significantly around July.

Lots of people are using roadways, including motorcycle riders.

During this season folks are out taking advantage of all kinds of recreational endeavours. Vehicles of all shapes and sizes are on roads, some pulling more than one trailer.

As thermometers rise we want to make sure that tempers do not rise as well.

We need to allow extra time and decrease distractions to ensure safe travel on the roads.

Ann Pudwell is a health promotion facilitator at Medicine Hat Community Health Services and can be reached at 403-502-8200 or ann.pudwell@albertahealthservices.ca.

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