Your North Carolina summer safety guide: swimming, grilling, & heat

Little girl deftly swim underwater in pool.

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By Good Info News Wire

May 24, 2024

As summer draws near, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is stressing the importance of safety measures during outdoor activities. The emphasis on safe swimming, heat safety, and grilling practices is aimed at preventing diseases, injuries, and fatalities. The advice comes in anticipation of National Water Safety Month in May and the CDC’s 20th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week from May 20-26, 2024.

Dr. Susan Kansagra, NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health, asserted that a safe and healthy summer for all North Carolinians starts with practicing water, heat, and grilling safety. She emphasized that implementing simple steps can significantly enhance safety and protection from heat-related and foodborne illnesses for everyone.

With drowning being the leading cause of death for children aged between 1-4 nationwide, the NCDHHS urges everyone to adopt safety measures like active supervision, securing pool areas, staying informed about local water conditions, taking health precautions, and ensuring proper water disinfection. The department also advises residents to take heat-related illnesses seriously and not to ignore danger signs such as nausea, headache, lightheadedness or dizziness, confusion, and erratic or rapid pulse.

Statistics from the 2020 North Carolina Climate Science Report indicate that most parts of the state are likely to experience additional weeks of very hot days in the coming years. In 2023, North Carolina reported over 3,900 emergency department visits for heat-related illnesses from May to September. Fortunately, the NCDHHS has a Heat Health Alert System that sends email alerts when the local heat index is forecast to be unhealthy.

Additionally, safety guidelines for grilling have been issued as the practice could lead to foodborne illnesses, which are most reported from May through August in North Carolina. The NCDHHS advises residents to always practice hygiene, avoid cross-contamination, cook food thoroughly, store food properly, and clean grill surfaces and utensils regularly.

For more information on healthy swimming practices, heat-related illness prevention, and safe grilling tips, residents can visit the CDC and NCDHHS websites.

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This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Your North Carolina summer safety guide: swimming, grilling, & heatYour North Carolina summer safety guide: swimming, grilling, & heat

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by Cardinal & Pine staff.

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