Protect yourself this summer

Sun’s out, fun’s out! Now that summer is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of all the fun things you are going to do…all the trips to the lake, laps around the pool, BBQs with friends, etc. It is exciting just talking about it! 13406329_M

However, what is not so exciting is talking about the downer…summer safety. While summer is a fun season with warm temps and outside gatherings, it can also wreak havoc on your health.

First and foremost, one of the major dangers of summer is the sun itself. Without proper protection, your skin has no shield from its blinding rays. However, according to the National Cancer Institute, most adults do not wear sunscreen on a regular basis.

Adding a simple step to your morning routine and applying an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen can greatly reduce your odds of being a walking target to the sun. You can also wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeve shirts, or SPF clothing. Don’t forget to keep those eyes covered, too! Be prepared when you go out, and make sure your bag has all the protective gear!

Your outer body is protected does not mean that you are clear to frolic about in the sun’s rays! One of the most important safety tips for the summer is HYDRATION. This cannot be emphasized enough….your body cannot have too much water. Hydrate before you go out, during your outing, and after to ensure dehydration does not set in.

Know the symptoms of dehydration so you can take action immediately. While water is the best source, you can also find proper hydration through sports drinks, tea, or flavored waters. A great rule of thumb is to drink even when not thirsty!

Another important safety tip for the sun is to avoid heat exhaustion. Keep track of the amount of time you have been in the sun! While you may not feel tired or sick, or it may feel like normal reactions to working (heavy sweating/high pulse), your body may be telling you that you are in danger. Listen to your body and take cooling breaks often. In extreme temps, move your activities indoors, or schedule them for early morning/late evening to avoid extended exposure.

Remember, the sun can also interfere with your medicines! It can interrupt how they are processed in your body and also cause severe burns/blistering. Talk to your doctor before going into the sun for long periods.

The sun is not a bad thing! It is just something you need to be prepared for. It does a body good to take in some Vitamin D, and it does your soul even better.