TWIN FALLS, Idaho — With Memorial Day Weekend wrapping up and hot temperatures expected for the remainder of this week, the South Central Public Health District is reminding people of ways to stay cool and safe during the summer months.
“Idaho is so wonderful for outdoor adventures," said Brianna Bodily, spokesperson for the health district. "Many of us are really enthusiastic about that which is wonderful.”
With summer heat moving in, SCPHD officials are asking everyone ready to head outdoors, specifically campers, to let friends and family know where they're going in case of an emergency.
“That simple safety precaution could make sure that we have some sort of backup plan if we get stranded somewhere without access to a phone to call for help," said Bodily.
Officials also suggest regularly keeping tabs on your body temperature to avoid issues like heat stroke.
It's something especially important for children and senior citizens to keep an eye on.
“You might have friends, neighbors, family members who don’t have access to air conditioning and aren’t able to get around as easily," said Bodily. "It’s a really good idea to check on them. See if they need to come over to your house for a couple of hours in the hottest part of the day so they can get some relief to that heat.”
Other summer safety reminders include staying hydrated and wearing and reapplying sunscreen. You should also be aware of the dangers of leaving an animal or child in a car during summer.
"It's really important that everybody understands that cars can be on average about 20 degrees warmer than outside of the vehicle," said Bodily. "If you can run the air conditioning or leave that person in a safe place outside or keep them with you, that's the safest way to make sure they aren't at any sort of risk."
The summer also means more people are likely to head down to the water. Officials say it's important to be aware of your surroundings, monitor those in large bodies of water, and wear a life jacket if needed.
The district also mentioned being aware of the conditions of the water and look for things like an algae bloom.
“This is just a plant that grows in the water and it loves to grow when there is a lot of warm conditions, like a lot of sunlight, that really feeds these blooms," said Bodily. "Now some of them are not harmful at all, but some of them can poison the water and make you and your animals very very sick.”
Some ways the health district said you could identify potential water hazards is if it looks there is paint in the water, if the water has a peculiar smell and if there are any dead fish in the area.