Summer on the Shoreline! Safety Tips for Heat
Summertime on the shoreline is the best time to enjoy being outside by going to the beach, hiking, or doing other sorts of outdoor activities. However, it can also be a dangerous time to be exposed to harmful UV rays and extreme heat. This summer, stay hydrated and protect your skin from the sun.
It's always good to keep in mind that cooling stations pop up around the shoreline during hot summer months. Ensure that your AC is working properly before you need it to be prepared in case you need repairs or a new unit.
Staying hydrated is vital throughout the entire year, but especially in the summer when our bodies are sweating more than usual. Not replenishing your body with water can lead to dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration can include cramps, fatigue, thirst, headaches, dark urine, confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, and more. Some people are at a higher risk of dehydration such as those who exercise frequently, those who spend a lot of time outside in the summer especially, those with certain medical conditions, or those who are sick for example.
Most health professionals say that most people should drink 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day, however everyone is different in their hydration needs.
To help you out in terms of staying hydrated on a day-to-day basis, here are some tips for staying hydrated that can be especially helpful for this summer, from FamilyDoctor.org.
Tips for staying hydrated:
Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce costs and be environmentally-friendly, use a reusable water bottle and refill it with tap water.
Be conscious of how much you’re sweating or urinating during the day and try to replenish your body’s fluids as much as possible. Our bodies are made up of more than 50% of water, so it’s vitally important to try and keep them functioning correctly!
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
Drink water before, during, and after a workout or any outdoor summer time.
When you’re feeling hungry, it may be a sign that you need to drink some water. Thirst is often confused with hunger, and true hunger won’t be satisfied by drinking water.
Set a schedule for yourself of how much water to drink throughout the day if you have difficulty remembering to drink water.
Another thing to be conscious of this summer is heatstroke. Heatstroke is caused by your body overheating, usually as a result from prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperature. This condition is the most common in the summer months, when heats and UV rays can be extremely high.
Heatstroke can threaten the function of your brain, heart, kidneys, and muscles. Treatment is crucial and putting off treatment can worsen the damage further.
Signs and symptoms of heatstroke may include: high body temperature, altered mental state or behavior, alteration in sweating, nausea or vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate, or headache.
It’s important to dress for the weather and wear cooling clothes that can let your body breathe and to take breaks from the sun. Drinking plenty of fluids and taking it easy during the summer is one vital way to take some stress off of your body during the summer months.
Sun protection can be a huge factor in preventing skin cancer. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun can be dangerous. When the summer sun is the strongest all year, it's a very important time to stay vigilant with your sun protection for your own safety.
So – why is it important to protect yourself from UV rays? Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to health issues, including cancer. Typically, skin cancer forms on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms, because all of these body parts are exposed to the most UV radiation. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to UV radiation. Additional health issues that can go hand-in-hand with UV radiation include eye diseases, premature aging, and skin sensitivity.
There are many little things that you can do proactively to protect you and your family from UV radiation as much as possible. In combination, taking all these tips into account when spending time outside can be effective in preventing skin cancer and other health issues that can result from UV radiation.
Tips for protecting your skin UV radiation:
Stay in the shade, especially when the UV index is the highest between the hours of 10am-4pm.
Protect your skin with clothing - cover your arms and legs so they’re not exposed to the sun.
Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck when in the sun.
Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays – wraparound sunglasses are effective in protecting both the eyes and the skin around them.
Use SPF 15 or higher for sun protection and reapply often (about every 2 hours). It’s recommended that you wear sunscreen throughout the whole year, even when the UV is lower in the fall and winter.
Avoid indoor tanning at tanning beds.
It is never too late to start integrating these practices into your daily routine! Your body will thank you for protecting it against harmful UV radiation.