It’s summer, and this time of year we all like to spend time in the great outdoors. With the sun shining high, we vibrate with anticipation to get outdoors. Be it camping, hiking, backyard bbq, the pool or the beach, please remember, with the warmer temperatures, to drink plenty of water, use protection from the harmful effects of the sun, and avoid the possibly deadly consequences of heat and/or sun stroke.
- The daily recommended amount of water is 8 – 16 oz glasses a day. That increases dramatically the longer you play in the sun. As you sweat, that fluid must be replaced. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and energy drinks won’t do the job. In fact, some can do more harm than good. They provide sugary, empty calories without the electrolytes that fuel your boby. Cocktails and beer deplete your fluids, making you even more dehydrated. Pure waters, sparkling waters, and sports drinks, help to replace the electrolytes your bodies needs. Make sure you drink at least half again as much as you normally would while having your fun in the sun. Get a great recipe here.
- Wear protective clothing. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With the heat of the summer most of are thinking about how little we can wear to stay cool. Things like sunglasses that block uv rays protect your eyes. A large brim hat protects the top of your head from sunburn. It also provides shade to your face, neck and sometimes shoulders.
- Adequate sunscreen will help block the damaging effects of the sun. Children especially need to wear sunblock. I’m a redhead, so I learned about the damaging effects of the sun at a young age. I don’t tan. I go from extremely pale to lobster red in a very short amount of time. Like babies, I have to use a sunscreen with spf 40 or higher. I blister easily and you can easily see where I did damage in my younger days trying to keep up with my friends who tan. Take it from me, the worst places to sunburn are under your hair, and the backs of your knees.
- Avoid the most dangerous times of the day. The suns rays are the most dangerous for anyone between the hours of 10am and 3pm. If you’re heading for some fun in the sun, you’re get less direct sun before 10am or after 3pm. It’s best to avoid doing yard work or gardening during these peak sun times. If you must perform these activities during these times take care to protect yourself and know the warning signs of things like heatstroke.
- Don’t be deceived by shade. I would give my mother the excuse of our pool being in the shade, to get out of wearing sunscreen. Trust me when I tell you, shade from a tree or other porous material will not protect you from the sun. You still need sunscreen!
- Water reflects the suns rays. We’ve all seen people in movies who use those reflective panels to direct the rays. Like most, I thought, hey, I’m under the water, it will help protect me from the suns rays. While water does help diffuse the suns rays, it also reflects it back. So, if you wear the hat in the water, it’s directing those rays right back onto your shaded face and shoulders. Same rules here, make sure you wear the sunscreen. That tan is great when you’re young, but, as you age, that damaged skin begins to look like leather. The potential of developing skin cancer from those areas is also very high. The bandages and/or scars after having cancers removed from a place like your face are not attractive later. Indeed, if not caught, it can become something much worse than skin cancer.
- Back to the fun. You celebrate family and holidays with a backyard bbq. Again, heavy hydration, will keep you healthier and cooler. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun, on a patio, a porch, a pavillion, or in the house. Not only does taking such a break provide a temporary resbite, from the sun and heat, but keeps you from the overheating, that leads to sun stroke or heat stroke.
Stay safe and enjoy the summer fun and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. I would love to hear how you spend your summer time. Drop us a comment letting us know. Don’t forget to like and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.