July 2, 2019
FOURTH OF JULY SAFETY AWARENESS
ThedaCare Physician Explains Summer Safety
WILD ROSE, Wis. – The Fourth of July is just around the corner and hot summer weather is sure to be with us soon.
“We are all looking forward to getting out in the sun, and it’s important that we’re mindful of our time in the sun,” said Zachary Baeseman, MD, family medicine practitioner and associate medical director at ThedaCare Physicians-Wild Rose and Waupaca. “I think people often underestimate their risk of exposure to the sun and heat. It’s important to drink lots of fluids when you’re spending time outdoors and it’s hot. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are concerns, know the symptoms and don’t become overheated.”
The Centers for Disease Control shares this list of symptoms for heat related illness:
- High body temperature
- Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
- Fast, strong pulse
- Losing consciousness (passing out)
“It’s also important for people to take care of their skin,” said Dr. Baeseman. “Be sure to use a good, broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays.”
The sun protection factor (SPF) number refers to the length of time that product will protect your skin. A higher SPF doesn’t protect your skin any more than a lower number; it just protects it longer.
“People apply sunscreen and then think they are good for five or six hours, and that’s not true,” Dr. Baeseman said. “It’s important to reapply sunscreen often, about every two hours, especially when swimming or on the water boating, kayaking or canoeing.”
He also recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat to help protect the face and ears, and don’t forget sunglasses that have UV protection. He also reminded people that the law requires boaters to have a life jacket on board for every passenger.
Dr. Baeseman also discussed fireworks safety over the Fourth of July holiday.
“I know many people enjoy shooting off and watching fireworks,” he said. “It’s important to use them safely and legally. Fireworks regulations are in place to protect us. Use fireworks as directed, be aware of where and how they’re being used and make sure that kids don’t have access to fireworks without adult supervision.”
People do lose fingers and hands and suffer burns from inappropriate use of fireworks, reminded Dr. Baeseman.
“Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix,” he stressed. “Don’t light explosives if you’ve been drinking, especially with kids around.”
Dr. Baeseman also expressed concern about babies and toddlers and their exposure to loud noises.
“One thing I don’t see enough of is people being mindful of ear protection,” he explained. “When we’re at a parade, concert or fireworks event, those sirens and loud noises can be damaging to young ears and a baby can’t tell you the noise is hurting their ears.”
He said that there are good ear protection devices you can get for babies.
“We used them all the time with our babies when we went to restaurants and loud places so they would be able to sleep,” he recalled. “My recommendation is to not take babies to places with loud sounds without protecting their ears.”
He added that people of all ages should pay attention to their noise exposure. He suggests using ear plugs when you’re in a noisy environment.
Dr. Baeseman also highlighted ticks as a major concern during summer months.
“In our area, ticks are rampant, and the number of diseases coming from deer ticks keeps increasing,” he said. “It’s important that everyone wear DEET or protect their clothes when outdoors, even in their yards, and then do a tick check soon after coming back indoors.”
Also, don’t forget to check pets. Ticks often hitch a ride into our homes on cats, dogs and other pets. Check them for ticks when they come indoors and protect them from ticks as well.
Lastly, Dr. Baeseman shared another tip from his own personal experience.
“I enjoy kayaking, and I especially enjoy the Upper Chain of Lakes,” he said. “To get there I have to paddle through the Lower Chain where there are lots of boaters. I started wearing a high-visibility orange hat so that boaters could see me more easily.”
Since he’s done that, a number of boaters have commented that they can spot him much more clearly.
“There’s so much fun to be had in the summer months,” he said. “It’s wise to keep these cautions in mind to make our summer enjoyable and accident free.”
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.