A Safer Summer

Jun 17, 2015Health Focus

At Bingham Memorial, we recognize one of the pleasures of summer in Idaho is being able to spend more time outdoors. While summer brings with it fun activities for the whole family, be sure to follow these tips to stay healthy and safe as you enjoy this time of year.


If you’re not careful, picnic time, sadly, can be food poisoning time as well. The bacteria that make us sick to our stomachs grow faster when the temperature and humidity climb. To lessen your risk of a food-borne illness, follow these tips.

  • Cook meats until they are no longer pink inside.
  • Keep lunch meats, salads and spreads on ice or in well-insulated coolers.
  • When the temperature hits 90 degrees, don’t eat foods that have been out (even on ice) for more than an hour.
  • Wrap raw meat securely and keep it separate from ready-to-eat foods.

Pools/Open Water

A dip in the pool, lake or river may be a great way to escape rising temperatures, yet thousands of Americans drown each year. Be sure to follow these water-safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Always keep an eye on young children when they are in or near water.
  • Avoid swallowing the water. Bacteria and chemicals in pools can make you sick.
  • Take a swim lesson. Children as young as 4 can benefit from lessons.
  • Use the buddy system. Never swim alone or in unsupervised areas.


Insects such as bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants—as well as mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies and some spiders can cause reactions. To avoid problems, spray clothing or skin with repellents that contain 10 percent to 30 percent DEET. (Make sure kids get below 10 percent DEET.) Wear light-colored clothing, and walk in the center of trails to avoid brushing up against grass and brush.


Contact with poison ivy or poison oak causes red, swollen skin, blisters and severe itching. While symptoms usually go away after a week or so, calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream can help relieve discomfort. If you have a severe reaction or if your eyes or face are involved, see your doctor.

If anything should arise this summer, please know that Bingham Memorial is here for you and your family. Our emergency room is open 24 hours, and our 1st Choice Urgent Care is another option for minor emergencies and illnesses.