Tips to Enjoy a Safe Picnic This Summer
Summer is a beautiful time to bask in the great outdoors, and one of the best ways to do so is by having a delightful picnic.
However, it’s crucial to prioritize safety while enjoying your time under the sun, as your outdoor dining experience can quickly become an emergency if you are not careful.
These simple tips to enjoy a safe picnic this Summer will help you enjoy National Picnic Month without compromising your health.
Hydration, the Key to Beat the Heat
The summer sun can be unforgiving, leading to dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Always bring plenty of water to your picnic, and make it a habit to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Consider packing hydrating fruits like watermelon and cucumbers to quench your thirst and cool you down.
The Right Foods to Pack
Opt for food items that are less prone to spoiling in the heat. Fresh fruits, sandwiches with non-perishable fillings, and individually portioned snacks are excellent choices.
Keep cold foods cold by using ice packs or keeping them in a well-insulated cooler. Avoid leaving perishable items out in the sun for too long to prevent food poisoning.
Mindful Food Handling
Picnics often involve finger foods and sharing plates. Ensure everyone washes their hands or uses hand sanitizers before eating to prevent the spread of germs. Use separate utensils and always clean your hands when handling raw meat to avoid cross-contamination.
Protect Yourself Against Sunburn
While enjoying the picnic, don’t forget to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours.
Wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from direct sunlight.
Dealing with Allergens
An estimated 20 million Americans have food allergies. The most common food allergy reactions occur from dairy, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, fish, and shellfish.
If you or someone in your group has allergies, be extra cautious while selecting picnic foods. Read labels and avoid any triggers.
If you’re hosting the picnic, ask your guests in advance about their allergies and dietary restrictions to ensure everyone can enjoy the meal safely.
Beware of Insects
Insects can be uninvited guests at your picnic. To prevent insect bites, use insect repellents, and consider wearing light-colored clothing with long sleeves and pants.
Keep food covered when not in use to avoid attracting insects and pests.
Symptoms of Medical Emergencies Associated with Picnics
Despite our best precautions, medical emergencies can still occur during picnics. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
Heat Exhaustion: Heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, and nausea
Heatstroke: High body temperature, confusion, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness
Food Poisoning: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
Allergic Reactions: Itchy skin, hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing
Bee or Wasp Stings: Swelling, itching, pain, or difficulty breathing for severe cases (allergic reaction).
When to Go to the ER
While most picnic-related issues don’t require a trip to the ER, some scenarios, such as severe allergic reactions, food poisoning, and heatstroke, require immediate medical attention.
If you notice any of the following signs, seek help at the nearest emergency room:
- Signs of severe heat exhaustion or heatstroke, such as fainting or seizures
- Difficulty breathing or a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- Severe and persistent symptoms of food poisoning, like bloody stools or dehydration
- Multiple bee, wasp, or fire ant stings resulting in an allergic reaction or signs of anaphylaxis
Where to Go When An Emergency Strikes
Picnics are an excellent way to relish the summertime with friends and family. By being proactive and mindful of potential dangers, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
Remember that should an emergency arise, Rapid Care ER is always nearby to help care for you and your loved ones.
All RapidCare Emergency Room locations in La Porte, Katy, Missouri City/Sugar Land, and Conroe/Montgomery are open 24/7 every day of the year including holidays. We’re here to help you and your family get well fast!