“Summer Skin Hazards”
School is officially out and that means summer break has kicked off. As your outdoor activities are increasing so are the temperatures as well as other dangers. While summer time can be an extremely fun time of the year it can also be a very dangerous time of the year.
We all like to be active outside during the summer, but sometimes we can get caught up in that softball game or day on the lake without putting safety first.
One of the biggest dangers during the summer is the heat. Adults over 65, children under four, people with existing medical problems, and those without access to air conditioning are at greatest risk of developing heat-related illness. Below are some helpful tips to avoid getting any heat related illnesses this summer.
•Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more fluids.
•Check on high-risk individuals often and remind them to drink enough water.
•Avoid caffeinated drinks and liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
•Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
•Avoid direct sunlight and limit outdoor activities to early morning or evening hours when temperatures are usually cooler.
•Never leave children or pets in vehicles.
•Stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible to cool down.
The most common heat-related illnesses are heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. Warning signs include extreme body temperature, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness and confusion. If you develop symptoms of heat stroke, get medical assistance right away.
Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.
Besides the heat being a danger during the summer the sun can be another danger. Staying out of the sun is the best way to avoid damage from the sun, but that is not always practical. So here are some precautions to take when you are going to be outside.
- Do not let your skin burn, especially your children’s skin because it increases your risk for skin cancer
- Wear sunscreen. An SPF of at least 15 will block out 93% of UV Rays. You want to filter out both UVA & UVB Rays.
- Stay indoors when the sun is high from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The UV rays are the strongest during this time.
- Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and long pants.
- Wear sunglasses. Specifically ones that offer 99 to 100% UV protection.
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