Gopher State One Call (GSOC) consistently strives to promote the message of safety to all Minnesotans. Now that the temperatures are rising, it is important to be aware of spring and summer safety concerns. This time of the year often brings warmth and sunshine, but can also bring sunburn, heat exhaustion, and other safety hazards. Learn how to protect yourself with these safety tips:
Limit Sun Exposure
- The sun reaches maximum strength between 10am-4pm.
- Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Early morning and late evenings are the coolest times to be active.
Avoiding and Easing Sunburn
- Apply sunscreen with SPF 15+ at least half an hour before exposure. Reapply liberally every couple of hours on both sunny and cloudy days.
- Reduce your risk of skin damage and cancer by seeking shade before you need relief.
- Cover up with tight-woven clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses that provide 97%+ protection against UVA and UVB rays.
- Fill up on water or an electrolyte beverage to remain hydrated. Stop for frequent water breaks if you are active outside.
- Avoid carbonated and caffeinated beverages if you are experiencing heat exhaustion.
- Excessive sweating is a sign for you to increase your water intake.
- Avoid sugary or alcoholic beverages, which dehydrate you.
- Avoid extremely cold drinks, which can cramp your stomach.
Identify Poisonous Plants and Creatures
- Avoid bug-infested areas. Ticks prefer thick undergrowth and tall grass, while mosquitoes prefer areas with entrapped, still water. Fleas can latch onto animals, including pets. Bug-friendly hours are typically between dusk to dawn.
- Always check your body for ticks after being outside.
- Wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and boots when traveling in the woods to protect yourself from poisonous plants.
- Prevent bug bites by applying bug repellent and avoiding the use of scented soaps, perfumes, and hair spray.
Even if you take all of these precautions, the most important tip to follow when completing an outdoor project that requires any digging is to contact GSOC 48 hours in advance, excluding weekends and holidays, before you begin. Bring on the warm weather!