LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
#1 – Staying hydrated
Due to Laughlin’s geographic location, the community experiences days where temperatures are over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. On those days, heat indexes can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why staying hydrated is important.
Dehydration is an illness that Airmen can experience if proper fluid intake is neglected. Symptoms of dehydration include nausea, vomiting, dizziness or light-headedness, and headaches.
The Mayo Clinic recommends an average intake for men should be three liters a day, while women should aim for 2.2 liters a day.
#2 – Use bug spray and sun-screen
It goes without saying that Laughlin and the surrounding area has a number of bugs and yearly sunshine. Therefore it’s necessary to reiterate the necessity of protecting one’s skin from irritating rashes, bumps, and burns.
While Laughlin’s Public Health has had no cases of Zika from mosquitos in the past year, it does not guarantee protection from such. The office reports that The Rio Grande valley is a hotbed for the species of mosquitos carrying the virus. Using bug spray not only protects from Zika, but many other potential viruses that might be transferred by insects.
Protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays is just as important as protection from virus-harboring insects. Sunscreen comes in an assortment of formulas, and guarantees protection for varying times, as shown by the sunscreen protection factor, or SPF number.
#3 – Watch for cyclists, motorist or not!
From enjoying the great outdoors to planning a family road trip, the summer marks the ideal time for Airmen to travel. During these trips, motorists must be prepared to share the road with a variety of cyclists.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2014 the federal government estimated motorcycle fatalities were 27 times more likely to happen per each mile traveled compared to the number of vehicle accidents.
Practicing defensive driving on a regular basis reduces the risk of accidents. Motorcyclists can reduce the risk of injury by always wearing their helmet, which “reduces the risk of fatality by 37 percent and brain injury by 67 percent.”
As a reminder, All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and golf carts are not designed for on-highway use and should not be used as such. More than 300 people die annually on roads, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, due to accidents involving ATV’s alone.
#4 – Take precautions when playing outdoor sports
Outdoor sports like football, baseball, or basketball, are some of the United States’ favorite pastimes. With the many amenities Laughlin has to accommodate sports-players, using these fields and courts requires one to be knowledgeable of property safety precautions:
According to Medline Plus, a U.S. National Library of Medicine subsidiary, some factors to be aware of are:
a.The potential for accidents from heat or the environment
b.Poor training practices or bad form when exercising
c.Sports equipment that is old or improper for the type of activity
Medline also recommends warming up or stretching to help alleviate the possibility of sports-related injuries.
If anyone is experiencing extreme pain or have been injured, stop exercising or playing immediately. Continuing to play or exercise might worsen the injury. Medline instructs those to begin with the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate) to tend to injuries. Other supplements to treatment includes pain relievers, limiting movement, rehabilitation, and rarely surgery.
#5 – Don’t leave children or pets in the car
The season’s heat also brings safety concerns: leaving children or pets in automobiles. For David Isbell, 47th Civil Engineering Squadron fire chief, it’s a scenario that plays out too many times.
All parents and pet owners are encouraged to remain proactive during these hot months. In efforts to make sure Laughlin continues to take care of one another, the fire department encourages everyone to ACT:
A – Avoid heat related injuries and death by never leaving your child or pet unattended in the car.
C – Create hydration reminders to help keep your family and pets hydrated during daily activities.
T – Take action by calling 911 or Security Forces immediately if you see a child or pet alone in a car.