Stay well this summer - Public Health Dorset

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Stay well this summer

For many of us, summer is a time of year we look forward to. The long sunny days give us a chance to be more active, take notice in nature and connect with others - some of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Here are our top tips for looking after your health and wellbeing and staying safe this summer.
 

Living safely with Coronavirus

We have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases locally, and with many people socialising and travelling during the summer period, there are some simple things you can still do to protect yourself and others from the virus and reduce pressure on essential services.

  • Meet outside, or let fresh air in when meeting inside
  • Get vaccinated and stay up to date with boosters
  • Wear a mask in crowded and enclosed places
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell or have flu-like symptoms
  • Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer out and about

 

Coping in hot weather

Many of us look forward to the hot weather, but when it is hot for long periods, it can become a risk to our health. Stay well in hot weather and reduce the risk of heat stroke by staying hydrated and keeping cool. It is important to check on others who are more vulnerable in the heat, such as children, older people, and those with long-term health conditions.

Carry plenty of water on hot sunny days to prevent dehydration. If you do experience any symptoms of dehydration, start with small sips when you find it hard to drink, then gradually drink more.

 

Stay sun safe

Sunlight in moderation is good for increasing our vitamin D levels, but too much sun exposure can cause sunburn which can lead to skin cancer. Applying sunscreen regularly, spending time in the shade, and covering up with sunglasses, hats, and clothing can help keep you protected from too much sun exposure. Stay sun safe this summer when you are outdoors at the beach, walking, gardening, or working outdoors. Discover more sun safety advice on the NHS website.

 

Be tick aware

Adult ticks are more active during the summer months – following some simple tips can reduce the risk of tick bites and Lyme Disease.

  • When walking in woodland, regularly check your clothing and exposed skin for ticks
  • Walk on clearly defined paths to avoid brushing against vegetation
  • Wear longer clothes to reduce the direct exposure of ticks to your skin
  • Use an insect repellent
  • If you do get bitten, remove the tick quickly using fine-tipped tweezers

You should contact your GP if you experience symptoms of Lyme Disease, like a red circular rash, fever, fatigue, and headache.

 

Stay safe at festivals

If you're heading to a festival this summer, it’s important to look after yourself. Drink responsibly and avoid drugs that you are unfamiliar with at festivals. You should visit the medical area or welfare facility if you are worried about any adverse effects relating to drugs.

It is easy to lose yourself in a crowd at a festival, keeping your phone charged can help you reconnect with your friends when you feel unsafe. Find more information on how to stay safe at festivals. 

 

BBQ food practices

During the sunnier months, many of us enjoy a BBQ with family or friends. Many areas across Dorset have banned the use of disposable BBQs as they are a serious fire risk.

If you are BBQing safely at home, follow some simple steps from the Food Standards Agency to prevent food poisoning:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water
  • Prepare food on clean surfaces, avoiding cross-contamination
  • Cook meat properly and plan ahead when defrosting meat
  • Use different plates and utensils to serve food safely
  • Store any cooked leftovers in the fridge

 

Walk for wellbeing

Now that summer is here, there is no better opportunity to get active and move more. Alongside getting fitter, physical activity can benefit your mental health too. In hot weather, it is safer to do physical activity during cooler parts of the day, such as first thing in the morning or late evening.

Walking is free, accessible, and easy to start, and it is great way of setting aside time for your wellbeing. Discover walking tips, styles, and trails to increase your steps this summer which can help you feel healthier.

Ellen Finlay

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