The summer months are a time for fun in the sun with cookouts, pool parties, and trips to the beach. Amidst all the fun, it becomes very important to remember the dangers involved with heat and sun exposure. Children and the elderly are especially sensitive to things like skin damage and heat exhaustion.
Below are 6 simple tips to help you and your family have a safe and happy time outdoors this summer.
#1 – Stay Hydrated
The most common cause of heat related illnesses is inadequate hydration. Make sure that you and your children are drinking a bottle of water every couple of hours, and more frequently if you are physically active. If you begin to feel thirsty then you are already in the beginning stages of dehydration. Other signs of dehydration include flushed-red skin, dizziness, and a decrease in sweating while active.
#2 – Protect your skin
Sunscreen is vital to protect your skin from burning, premature aging, and skin cancer. Children are especially vulnerable since they will often not realize they are being burned until it is far too late. A person with light skin can begin to burn within 15 minutes of sun exposure. Even a dark skinned person can begin to experience sun damage within an hour. Be sure to use at least a 30 SPF sunscreen for adequate protection, and reapply every two hours.
#3 – First Aid Supplies
It is very important to have a simple first aid kit during any outdoor activities. Kids will inevitably trip and fall, get splinters, and a variety of other minor injuries as they explore the outdoors. Purchase or build a small first aid kit that includes Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, and tweezers. It’s also a good idea to include some Benadryl in case of insect bites to prevent an allergic reaction.
#4 – Face Protection
It is a good idea to provide everyone with sunglasses to prevent damage to sensitive eyes. Hats are also very beneficial as they can help shade your face from the sun. Lightweight straw hats are ideal for trips to the beach or time in the garden, since they protect the face, ears, and neck.
#5 – Cell Phone
We all hope that no major incident will occur during our outdoor family time, but the reality is that bad things happen. One of the most important ways to deal with a major accident is to have a cell phone available. This way you can call for help, or even an ambulance in case of a severe injury or illness. Having a cell phone available could quite possibly save the life of a family member, so make sure it is charged and readily available. Also, teach your children how and when to dial 911, because you never know, it might just be you that needs the help.