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Essential Summer Safety Tips

There’s nothing like the heat and humidity of a South Mississippi summer. Throw in the uncertainty of tropical disturbances, and you’ve got the making for chaos. According to NASA, NOAA and other agencies, 2023 was the warmest year since global records began in 1850. And, the 10 warmest years in the 174-year record have all occurred during the last decade. Living in this part of the state, the heat and humidity are something you learn to live with, but there are ways to cope.

July, while no means the hottest month of the year, is a time when we find a lot of people outdoors, especially during the days surrounding the Fourth of July. This year that holiday falls on a Thursday, so it will more than likely bring a week of celebrations – both before and after the 4th.

People will celebrate in a multitude of ways – cookouts, pool parties, boating, cruising the river and spending an afternoon on a sandbar, shooting fireworks, vacations at the beach, a day at the lake skiing, tubing, or bobbing along on a raft, supporting kids playing in baseball tournaments, having a picnic, grilling, or better yet, staying indoors in the air-conditioning.

While all of that sounds like a wonderful time, there are safety precautions that need to be taken with all of these outings, however you may choose to spend your day.

Always wash hands and counters before preparing food and clean utensils for cooking and serving. Store, cook, and reheat food at the proper temperatures. Refrigerated foods should not be left out at temperatures above 40° F and do not let food sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Food poisoning can occur with symptoms that include fever, headache, diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea, and vomiting. Eat light meals to feel cooler. Use sunscreen if you are going to be out in the sun. Make sure you reapply regularly. You don’t want to risk getting skin cancer. Wear appropriate clothing. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. Make sure you have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life safety jackets and that flotation devices are worn and extras are available in boats when out on the water. Keep an eye on young children near water. They can wander off and into the water’s edge at a moment’s notice. Never leave children unattended

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