The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the NH Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) would like to remind residents and visitors to stay safe this summer. Below you will find several ways to enjoy the beauty of New Hampshire summers while protecting your health and safety.
Warmer weather often means more time spent outdoors and simple steps can be taken to reduce your risk of tick and mosquito borne illnesses. Application of insect repellant, wearing long sleeve shirts or pants, and performing tick checks on yourself, children, pets, and outdoor equipment can reduce your risk of tick and mosquito bites. If you find a tick, remove with tweezers as soon as possible and contact your healthcare provider if you develop any symptoms or experience changes to your health. More information can be found at the NH DPHS Tickborne Diseases website or TickfreeNH.org.
Summer also includes gatherings, events, and festivals where food is prepared and served. Remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before eating, after sneezing or coughing, or use of the restroom. Be sure to follow safe food handling and storage practices while at picnics, barbeques, or other events where food is prepared or served. More information about safe food handling can be found at the NH DPHS Food Protection website.
Sun exposure can lead not only lead to sunburns but over time may lead to certain types of skin cancer. Long sleeve clothing, wide-brim hats, sunglasses, and UV-protective clothing provide protection from sun exposure. If using sunscreen, an SPF 30, or greater, broad spectrum UVA/UVB product provides appropriate protection from the sun. It is important to reapply as directed and after certain activities such as swimming. Other ways to protect yourself from the sun and how to reduce your risk for certain type’s skin cancer can be found at the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Water systems that have sat in storage for long periods of time, such as those in seasonal properties or Recreational Vehicles (RV), may be at risk of containing harmful bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause a serious form of pneumonia known as Legionnaire’s Disease. Seasonal property owners and RV owners should follow manufacturer recommendations for the maintenance of hot water heaters and other water system components.
Get caught up on routine health screenings and vaccinations. Recommendations for certain screenings for diseases such as colon and breast cancer have recently changed. Vaccines for preventable conditions like Mpox, Hepatitis, and Shingles are widely available year round, and a new adult vaccine for RSV may soon be available this summer. Talk to your healthcare provider about what tests, screenings, and vaccines are right for you.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is committed to protecting and promoting the health and safety of all New Hampshire residents and visitors year round and would like to wish everyone a safe and healthy summer.