Summer is a blast. The weather is perfect. School’s out. Vacation is coming due.
Since injuries spike in the summer, here are some precautions to keep your summer days healthy and happy.
Pace yourself in hot weather and drink water
Dehydration can be sneaky.
Older people, in particular, may be vulnerable to dehydration due to medications they take or other health conditions. Kids can become dehydrated through overexertion on a hot day.
The key is to keep track of your liquid intake. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
Know your sport and wear the appropriate safety gear, such as helmets, wrist guards, life vests or goggles. Make sure your equipment is in good condition, fits well and is worn correctly before you begin an activity.
Children should learn and practice the skills they need to safely participate in an activity. Related: Sports physicals are a must for student athletes ›
Practice sun protection
Sunscreen, shade and protective clothing are the tools you need to avoid painful sunburn and the kind of skin damage that increases the risk of skin cancer. Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect against all ultraviolet radiation. Go beyond sunscreen to protect your skin ›
Purchase a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and apply a tablespoon 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply it at least every two hours. Related: The ABCs and SPFs of suncreen ›
Keep allergies at bay
Allergy rates soar in our area during the summer, mostly from ragweed.
People often open doors and windows in the warmer months, but that allows more airborne allergies to waft into your home. You actually want to do the opposite and keep doors and windows closed. Try running the air conditioner to keep allergens down or use an air filter or air purifier. Vacuum more often and wash sheets often in hot water. Related: More tips for fending off allergies ›
Keep foods at the appropriate temperature
Each year in the U.S., about 47 million cases of foodborne illness are reported. During the summer, salmonella is especially problematic. Dairy products, as well as egg dishes, can be breeding grounds for salmonella.
Don’t let food sit out for more than two hours. On a hot day (90°F or higher), reduce this time to one hour. Put perishable items in a cooler or insulated bag.
Wash your hands often. Older people, infants and people with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to foodborne illness.
Fend off pesky creatures
Bugs, bees, snakes and other creatures can disrupt your picnic, hike or round of golf. Wear protective clothing if you’re in areas where such pests are common. What to do when a snake bites ›
Insect repellents are safe and are recommended for kids as young as 6 months. DEET-containing insect repellents work best. Mosquitoes can carry dangerous viruses like Zika, West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
If you encounter a bee, remove the stinger from your skin as quickly as possible. You can use a credit card or anything with a firm edge to pop the stinger out. See a doctor if you develop a rash or any other symptoms following a bee sting.