Wellness Wednesday- Summer Safety Tips


Though basking in the sun is relaxing and fun, it’s also dangerous for your health. Skin cancer is both dangerous and common—it’s the most common form of cancer in the United States and over 2 million people are diagnosed annually.

Even more startling, sun exposure is the primary cause of over 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer cases reported in the United States.

Follow these tips to stay safe in the sun:

  • Stay out of the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun is at its peak in the sky.
  • Wear clothes made of tightly woven fabrics and a hat that shields your face, neck and ears.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your retinas and prevent the development of cataracts.
  • Use a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15, applying it all over your body.
  • Do not use tanning beds—they are just as damaging as natural sunlight.

Avoiding excessive sun exposure is ultimately the best way to protect your body from skin cancer. If you must go in the sun, routinely inspect your body for any changes such as a new freckle or enlarged mole. If you suspect that a spot on your skin is new or has changed in appearance, consult a dermatologist immediately.


It’s time for outdoor adventures – maybe a nature hike, a dip in the pool or a relaxing backyard barbecue. Being prepared with some first aid basics can help you handle just about anything that comes your way.

Bee stings

If you’re stung by a bee or wasp:

  • Remove the stinger immediately by scraping or brushing it off with a firm edge, such as a credit card.
  • Wash the area with soap and water and apply a cold compress.
  • Soothe itching with an oral antihistamine or calamine lotion.
  • Be alert for signs of allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, or swelling of the lips, throat, or face. Seek medical help immediately if someone appears to be having a severe or allergic reaction to a bee sting. Use an epinephrine auto-injector (if available) and call 911 right away.

Over 500,000 people are stung by bees each year in the United States

Mosquito bites

Most mosquito bites do little more than cause itching, redness and general discomfort. For pesky bites, apply calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or antihistamine.

See a health care provider if you experience severe symptoms, such as fever, headache, body aches and signs of infection.

Tick bites

If you find a tick attached to your skin, remove it with tweezers and use antiseptic on the bite area.

Contact your doctor if you’re unable to completely remove the tick or you have a rash that gets bigger (a bull’s-eye pattern may be a sign of Lyme disease). Also see your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms or if the bite site looks like it’s infected.

On average, about 1 in 3 adult blacklegged ticks and 1 in 5 blacklegged tick nymphs (immature stage) are infected with Lyme disease bacteria.

Poison ivy

Take the following steps if you come in contact with poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak:

  • Rinse skin immediately with rubbing alcohol or soap and water
  • Scrub under nails with a brush.
  • Apply a cold, wet washcloth to the affected area.
  • Soothe itching with an oatmeal bath, calamine lotion or an antihistamine.

Seek emergency medical help for signs of severe allergic reaction, such as swelling or difficulty breathing or if a rash develops on the face or genitals.

About 10 million Americans suffer from an allergic reaction to poison ivy every year.

If you’d like to learn more about how Henderson Brothers’ health strategy consulting can help your employees, please get in touch with April Ginsburg. 

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Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.