It’s summertime, and that means it’s time to go outside and enjoy the weather. The return of warmer temperatures brings thoughts of freedom, relaxation, exploration, and being closer to nature. Whether you’re relaxing in the backyard, turning up your garden, enjoying the pool, or exploring the great outdoors, here are some ways to help keep you and your family healthy this spring and summer.
Summertime Food Safety
Nothing says summer like the smoky flavor of foods cooked out on the grill. When grilling, use a meat thermometer to ensure that you cook meat and poultry thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Also, put cooked meat on a clean platter, rather than back on the one that held the raw meat, to avoid cross-contamination. Whether you’re cooking out in the backyard or on a picnic, always keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. When you’re finished eating, refrigerate leftovers promptly.
Beware of Bugs
Warmer temperatures aren’t just attractive to people, but to mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus; ticks can transmit Lyme disease and other serious infections; and fleas can transmit plague.To prevent these illnesses, use an appropriate insect and tick repellent and apply it properly. Prime mosquito-biting hours are usually dusk to dawn, but ticks are out at all times. Young ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see, but both young and adult ticks hungrily look to animals and sometimes people to bite.