With June 21st just a short time away, the date officially kicks off the first day of summer. At that time, we say goodbye to cool mornings and hello to higher temps and humidity. Families take vacation time during this stint to do things around the house, travel and mainly spend their days outside. While the vitamin D the sun delivers can be helpful in many ways, there are definitely some opportunities for things to happen as well.
To prepare for the season and being outdoors, I wanted to pass along some ideas to help prepare you for the dog days of summer.
As we approach the summer solstice, the days will be getting longer and many people take advantage of doing outdoor activities, but do you have the proper bag of utilities to keep you safe during this time? Here are a few things that are a must in order to ensure your safety.
First and foremost, everyone should apply some form of sunscreen before heading outdoors. With a minimum of SPF 30, one should lather or spray sunscreen as it is one of the best summer safety tips to ensure you stay healthy now and in the future. The protection against UVA rays and sunburns without protection could lead to skin cancer and for best protection apply an ample amount of sunscreen around 30 minutes before going outside and be sure to reapply every couple hours for added protection and water or sweat resistance are the best choices to use.
Also, wearing the right attire and accessories can help during this time as well. Do not confuse that what you wear to the beach can be worn on a nature hike because that is pretty much night and day. Be sure to wear more than what you think as well as the norm is to wear less clothing during the summer, but having more clothing is a good opt to have for better skin protection. And the lighter color clothes you wear actually work as a reflector of the sun and can keep you cool and safe. Wide brimmed hats are recommended as it can protect your face, ears and neck from the sun. And do not forget those sunglasses for eye protection.
It may sound a little over the top, but it is not a bad idea to have a first aid kit handy in your beach bag or fanny pack if hitting the trail. I am not talking about the doctor’s bag, but something simple with all the necessities. Band-Aids and antibiotic ointments for minor cuts or scraps. Again, sunscreen for frequent application while in the sun as well as bug spray to fend off bug bites. Some post sun lotion like aloe Vera to help cool the body after a long day in the sun and of course, some form of cream to help with itching caused by bug bites or even poison ivy. Hydrocortisone cream is best recommended to ease itchiness and irritation from these.
Drink WATER! The sun and all the activities can dehydrate anyone and you should drink plenty of fluids regardless of how active you are. The key is do not wait till you’re thirsty to drink, as that is an early sign that you probably need fluids, but have a continuous, steady amount of water during your activities even though you do not feel that you need them. This will protect you from heat exhaustion.
And speaking of that, be aware of the signs of having too much fun in the sun. Dizziness, muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue and nausea are all warnings of heat exhaustion and if detected it is best recommended to get indoors, drink water and blot your body with a cool, wet towel. The issue is that your body temperature rose high too quickly and the goal is to bring that back down.
I hope that everyone has a safe and fun summer and if you follow some of these guidelines, you should be ready for anything to happen.