Health Department Offers Summer Safety Tips

(Micromedia Archives)

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Health Department has these summer safety tips.

“There are so many things that can ruin your outdoor summer fun but bug bites, food borne illness and sunburns are a few important health issues you should always make a priority to try and keep out of harm’s way. Just take a few moments to think before you act and apply the many simple, yet critical, tips that can keep you safe all summer long,” Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health, said.

When eating and cooking outdoors:

  • Wash hands with soap and hot water for 20 seconds before handling food.
  • Use separate cutting boards for vegetables and meats.
  • Check the internal temperature of meat with a meat thermometer. Place cooked meats on clean plates and platters.
  • Store food and leftovers in the fridge when finished.
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables before cutting and eating.
  • Refrigerate eggs and cook them until yolks are firm.
  • Defrost food in the microwave or refrigerator, not the counter.
  • Keep mayonnaise-based food cold.
  • Wash melons thoroughly. Keep cut melons refrigerated.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.

“Always use extra care when barbequing with propane or lighter fluid. Make sure your grills are working properly. Keep a spray water bottle handy and never leave your grill unattended,” Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, said.

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Most insects and their bites are annoying but harmless. However, mosquitos can spread Zika, West Nile, chikungunya, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and dengue viruses. Ticks spread Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

When outdoors:

  • Wear insect repellent on skin and clothes. Follow the directions for use provided.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks that cover skin.
  • Check everyone, including pets, for ticks.
  • Take a shower within two hours of being outside to help wash away ticks.
  • Throw clothes in the dryer on high for 10 minutes to kill ticks.

Bugs aren’t the only outdoor concern. Sun exposure is important for optimal health, but too much of a good thing can lead to skin cancer. Check monthly for moles and other skin markings that appear or change in appearance. Check from head to toe, including the scalp.

Look for the A, B, C, D, E’s of skin cancer: Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving.

“Summer is a time to enjoy the nice weather but just a few important tips to keep in mind will go a long way in keeping you healthy, safe and protected all summer long,” Little said.

The Ocean County Health Department has more tips on its website.