It’s summer! Kids are out of school, vacations happen, the weather is generally warm and enjoyable. There are some safety challenges that are unique to the summer. Here are 4 key tips to stay safe this summer.
With the summer comes heat. Most people know that staying cool is important. However, you might not realize that drinking cold water about every 20 minutes not only keeps you hydrated but helps to reduce heat. It is also good to avoid alcohol, coffee tea and caffeinated soft drinks which can all cause dehydration.
Fashion for the Sun
Dress for the heat. We discussed this briefly in “Sun Protection and Sunburns.” Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes including a hat. Be sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) and even UV-blocking sunglasses. The goal is to protect that skin of yours from the UVA and UVB rays. When you are on a hot job whether it is in the yard, a special project you are working on or even for your employer, it is best to work in a ventilated area with good airflow. It helps with evaporation of sweat which cools the skin.
Think for your Children
Children love to have fun, and they often do not think about the consequences of playing in the heat. When considering your children, if the heat or humidity is high, limit their intense activities that last 15 minutes or more. Don’t let them overheat. Have water available and let them drink water freely so that they do not feel thirsty. Have them take a break every 20 minutes. They should follow the tips above for their clothing and skin protection. If shirt or shorts become saturated with sweat, have them change clothes.
Avoid Heat-Related Illness
Be mindful of heat-related illnesses. Symptoms can include:
- heavy sweating
- feeling faint, dizzy, weak, or tired
- breathing fast or feeling like your heart is beating faster than normal
- muscle cramps
- nausea or vomiting
The best way to avoid overheating is to stay in a cool place. If your house is not air conditioned, consider going to the library or mall. Don’t push yourself to hard. If you have work to do outside, consider doing it in the morning or evening hours when it is cooler. Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you when walking and drink from it regularly.
Have a wonderful and cool summer. Always be safe and have fun!