Summer. School’s out, and so is the sun. With the days at their longest and brightest, many of us are taking advantage of the season, soaking up vitamin D and spending as much time in the fresh summer air as we can – whether it’s planning a vacation to the beach, getting out on the water, organizing pick-up games in the park or embarking on early evening walks with the family.
While summer can be a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors, it’s important to remember some key safety tips for keeping your summer fun and free of injury and stress.
Did you know that heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S.? As we all know, overexposure to heat is especially dangerous for children and the elderly. The good news is that protection from the heat and the sun’s rays can often be relatively easy to manage in contrast with some other weather-related dangers. But it’s crucial to know how to protect ourselves, especially as we enter the height of summer.
“It’s essential that we’re heat smart,” says Julie Kelly, Director of the Emergency Department. “There are simple steps we can take and tips we can remember to prevent heat-related illness as we enjoy the outdoors during this fun season.”
Beat the heat this summer with these cool tips:
• Stay aware of temperatures and humidity levels and modify your activity appropriately.
• Always use an SPF-15 or higher sunscreen that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays.
• Wear sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes from UV-A and UV-B rays.
• Limit outdoor activities when temps are highest – typically from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of low to no-sugar fluids, and remember, water is best!
• Search out cooler areas, even when outside. When the thermometer climbs above 90, take the opportunity to visit your local library or community center, or browse a fun store, especially if you don’t have access to air conditioning.
• Avoid enclosed places like cars or garages.
• NEVER leave children or animals in a car unattended.
• Break out your favorite loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing – summer is about dressing for comfort.
• Take breaks when exercising.
• Limit or avoid adult beverages; alcohol can impair your body’s ability to self-regulate its temperature.
For more information on heat safety, check out www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/.
Editorial content provided by Central Carolina Hospital. www.centralcarolinahosp.com.