Smart tips for a safe summer

Nobody wants to spend the summer season in a hospital bed

Now that we are in the thick of the “fun in the sun” season, residents across the region are planning road trips, hitting the beach, or heading to the hills. Nobody wants to spend the summer season in a hospital bed, so Interior Health is reminding the public to take a few simple steps to stay healthy this summer:

• For non-urgent care during office hours, call your family doctor or the doctor on call for the local practice or clinic.

• If your community has one, consider using a walk-in clinic. Call ahead to check the clinic’s hours.

• Try to see your doctor before he or she takes holidays if you have any developing health concerns.

• Note the summer/holiday hours of your local pharmacy or drug store, and ensure your prescriptions are up to date and filled. Remember to pack medications while traveling.

•  Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for confidential health information and non-emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For deaf and hearing-impaired assistance (TTY), call 7-1-1.

• If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control at 1-800-567-8911.

• If at any time you feel that you require urgent medical attention, do not hesitate to go to the emergency department or call emergency services at 9-1-1.

• Some hospitals may experience higher than normal volumes over the holidays. A triage system is used at the Emergency Department to ensure priority is given to those patients requiring the most urgent care.

More simple tips for staying safe and healthy:

• Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Limit sun and heat exposure by wearing a hat and seeking shade. Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen and lip balm and be sure to cover-up when you can;

• Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub;

• Get regular exercise  and fuel your body with healthy and nutritious foods;

• Everything in moderation, including alcohol;

• Never leave children or pets in the car. Even when parked in shaded areas with the windows cracked open the temperature of your car can increase rapidly. Leave your purse or phone in the back seat next to your child or pet to ensure you don’t forget them in the car;

• Take care driving especially during dawn and dusk. Keep your eyes on the road, leave the phone alone and never drink and drive;

·    Be safe around water and monitor children when out enjoying lakes, rivers and pools.