As the official start of summer approaches, we would like to share some helpful tips on how to stay cool and safe as the weather begins to heat up. With June 21st marking the first day of summer, now is a great time to get to the beach, pool, springs, or even have a boat day on the lake! Summer inspires us to live a carefree lifestyle, get out and enjoy nature; however, the one thing which should never be neglected is our health. We should always make sure we are taking the proper steps to ensure the safety of ourselves, our skin, and overall health.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re out enjoying summer:
- Use sunscreen – make sure you look out for “broad spectrum” sunscreen which protects you from UVB and UVA rays. It’s suggested to put sunscreen on 15 minutes before going outside to allow time for it to absorb into your skin. Apply sunscreen generously and often, and make sure you reapply after swimming and towel drying.
2. Drink water and avoid dehydrating food – A common question asked is “how much water should someone consume”, as this varies depending on the person. The general consensus is drinking at least three liters a day. As the day gets hotter, the amount of water needing to be consumed goes up as well. Sip water throughout the day and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Another suggestion is to incorporate water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables into your diet (cucumbers and watermelon). When we sweat, we also lose electrolytes so try adding some electrolytes to your water naturally with sea salt, coconut water, spinach, and ginger.
3. Try avoiding direct sun exposure when possible. Find breathable clothing to cover most of your body to keep you cool while protecting your skin. Wearing sunglasses and a hat is important too. It is recommended to wear a hat with a 2- 3 inch brim, in order to protect and cover your face and eyes.
4. Choose your time wisely – try and plan your outdoor activities before 10:00 am or later in the afternoon after 4:00 pm. This will help you avoid long-term sun exposure when the sun is at its peak.
5. Know your limits – make sure to look for signs of overheating or too much sun exposure. Some signs your body might tell you are headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. This could be your body telling you to take a break, go get some water or sit in the shade for a bit.
6. Swim safety – swimming is a skill that everyone should have with summer being the most popular time for swimming. Whether you’re at the pool, the ocean or a lake, here are some safety tips to keep in mind when you’re near water:
- Make sure you’re swimming in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Make sure you have a swimming buddy to ensure you aren’t swimming alone.
- Provide constant attention to children you’re supervising, even when there are lifeguards present.
- Never leave a child unattended when around water and always teach children to ask permission to go near or in water.
- Don’t forget U.S Coast Guard approved life jackets for young or inexperienced children; also don’t always rely on water wings, swim rings, and other inflatable toys designed for water recreation.
7. Fire safety – during the summer, family cookouts, fireworks, and campfires are very popular. Here are some helpful tips to ensure safety while gathering together:
- When it comes to fireworks, make sure you aren’t using consumer fireworks and you go to a public show to observe them instead. Keep a close eye on children at events with fireworks.
- When having a BBQ or cookout, propane and charcoal grills should be used outdoors. Ensuring children and pets are 3ft from the grilling area and never leave the grill unattended.
- When having a campfire, make sure you are checking for any burn restrictions. Using an already existing fire pit instead of your own will best ensure the safety of keeping the fire contained. Also always make sure the fire is completely out before walking away.
8. Staying bite-free – summer is when mosquitoes and other bugs are most active and we all know bug bites are no fun. Avoiding perfume and scented soaps can help reduce pesky bugs as the sweet scents attract them. Avoid stagnant water and heavily wooded areas. Checking the DEET concentration can help the longevity of your protection, the higher the concentration the better. Don’t forget to protect your pets as well so make sure to use flea and tick repellants as they too can get diseases.
Have a great summer while making sure you and your family stay safe!