Dr. Bret Ballard offers up his prescription for avoiding illness and injury during your warm-weather break.
The warmer-weather months are a wonderful time in northern Nevada to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. And while everyone wants to have a good time, safety always comes first. Bret Bellard, MD, Renown Medical Group, suggests the following four tips for a safe, healthy, fun and carefree summer.
Don’t lose sight of eye protection.
During the summer increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight can lead to cataracts and growths on the eyes. To protect your eyes from harmful solar radiation, choose sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays.
Save your skin.
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. And remember that at higher altitudes, such as Lake Tahoe, there is less protection from the atmosphere and an increased risk of sunburn. And while temporary sunburns can be painful, prolonged sun exposure can also lead to skin cancers. So safeguard yourself. Wear UV protective shirts and hats. Use sunscreen diligently and reapply throughout the day, as it may wear off when swimming or perspiring.
Whatever the activity — kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing or wakeboarding — if you’re in the water, wear a life preserver and encourage others to do the same. It’s a simple precaution that saves lives. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, of those who drowned in boating accidents in 2013, 84 percent of victims were not wearing life jackets.
Share the road.
Dr. Bellard notes that bicycle safety ranks No. 1 in the summer months. According to Nevada Revised Statute 484B.763,
“Every person riding a bicycle or an electric bicycle upon a roadway has all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” So share the road. By law, motorists must:
- Move over at least 3 feet from any portion of a bicycle on single-lane roads
- Ensure their vehicle is safely clear of a cyclist before resuming full use of a lane
- Move over an entire lane until safely past a bicycle on multi-lane roads
Go ahead: Amp up your safety measures and turn up the summer fun.