Beat the Heat 3

Tips to stay safe this summer

Outdoor fun in the sun is imperative in the summer. The days are long, the sun is hot, and it is the perfect time for extended vacations, maybe even a trip to the lake or the beach. While fully enjoying all that summer has to offer, here are a few tips to beat the heat and stay safe this summer.

  1. Lather up. Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15, even on cloudy days, during all outside time. The best sunscreens will have UVA and UVB protection. Apply 30 minutes before going outside for the most complete coverage. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it only takes 15 minutes of exposure to UV rays for skin to be damaged!
  2. Beat the bugs. Wear insect repellent during any outdoor activities, especially with increased fears of mosquito-borne diseases. For best results, think about choosing an insect repellent with an active ingredient (such as DEET, oil of lemon-eucalyptus,or picaridin). For kids, look for products with 30% or less of these ingredients. There are also all-natural options, such as Buzz Away Extreme (BuzzAwayExtreme.com) made with essential plant oils for those that want to avoid active ingredients.
  3. Stay hydrated. Cool down by drinking plenty of water and other non-alcoholic beverages, regardless of activity level. Pay special attention to children, the elderly, and anyone else with chronic illnesses, as they are at an increased risk of heat stroke or dehydration.
  4. Dress for the season. Wear lightweight, loose fitting clothing in light colors. Cover up with long sleeves as much as possible. Consider hats that shade the face, scalp, ears and neck. Opt for sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Evaluate play areas. Utilize playgrounds with soft materials such as wood chips, sand or mulch. Check the area for any potential hazards for children such as wood stumps, rocks or loose guardrails. And always stay alert, keeping children within eyesight.
  6. Use life vests. When boating, know that properly-fitted life jackets can prevent drowning. Purchase a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every individual on the boat and consider having non-swimmer children wear one around any body of water.
  7. Get enough rest. Summer might seem like the perfect time to throw out routines, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that close to 100,000 crashes are the result of driver fatigue each year. Get a good night’s rest before the next road trip!
  8. Be ready for emergencies. Have a first-aid kit nearby in case of accidents. A basic kit should include bandages, cleaning wipes and a small tube of antiseptic ointment. If a family member has an allergy, make sure to include an anti-allergy cream, medications and/or an Epi-Pen.

Summer is the perfect time to explore the outdoors, try new things and spend time with friends and family. The opportunities are limitless. Just make sure to keep in mind these safety tips so summer stays fun!