Staying Safe This Summer
As summer is approaching, there are some things you need to keep in mind regarding your health. Along with all the fun and activities, summer brings intense heat and sun, so taking steps to keep yourself and loved ones safe is essential.
When you are venturing out in the sun for more than a few minutes, you need to consider your skin’s exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays. It is important to make sure to wear sunscreen that appropriately protects your skin. Sunscreen comes in different SPF levels, so you need to find the one that is right for you. Essentially, the SPF number indicates the length of time it will take for the sun’s UV rays to redden the skin – when used as directed. In conjunction with sunscreen, you should wear protective clothing, like long-sleeved shirts made of lightweight materials and hats.
Drinking enough water seems like a simple task. However, roughly 75% of Americans are considered chronically dehydrated. There’s a possibility that you are already suffering low levels of hydration from normal day-to-day life, so becoming dehydrated due to not drinking enough water while in the sun could become dangerous. Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day, not just when you feel thirsty. When in doubt, check your urine. The clearer your urine is, the better. If it is yellowish, you need to drink some water.
Staying Safe in Hot Weather
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat-related deaths are completely preventable, but more than 700 people still die from extreme heat each year in the U.S. The CDC recommends the following if you are going to be outside in hot weather:
- Limit outdoor activity
- Wear and reapply sunscreen
- Pace your activity
- Drink more water than normal
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing
There are also individual factors that can make it harder for you to cool off in scorching weather. These factors include obesity, dehydration, mental illness, sunburn, drug and alcohol use, age, fever, heart disease, and poor circulation. If any of this is applicable to you, it is essential to practice extra caution if you have to venture outside.