June is National Safety Month, and summer is fast approaching! The days are getting longer, the trees are in full bloom and the sun is getting stronger. But with the change in season come different health risks. Things such as sunscreen use, exercise, hydration and allergies are all issues one must deal with during the summer months. Today, we will discuss how to stay healthy in the first days of summer.
First, let’s talk about sunscreen. We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. But did you know that having up to five sunburns before the age of 18 dramatically increases your risk for skin cancer later in life? Therefore, it is extremely important to practice safe sun. Not only does sunscreen protect us from the sun, but it also protects our skin from premature aging. One thing to keep in mind is that the ingredients in SPF breakdown over time, so always toss your sunscreen at the end of the summer and buy it new at the beginning of each season. Don’t forget to protect your head, lips and your eyes. These areas are often neglected. And be sure to reapply every couple of hours and after swimming. Choosing the right sunscreen can be difficult and there are surprisingly a lot of things you need to know. Watch for our upcoming blog post on Monday for an in-depth discussion about sunscreen.
Now that you and the kids are lathered up, let’s head outdoors! Summer time brings so many fun outdoor activities. Bike riding, swimming, rollerblading, you name it! But with these activities come risks for injury. It is important that your children always wear a helmet while riding their bike or doing tricks on their scooter. Set a good example and wear your helmet on your next family bike ride. You want to protect your head, too, and this way they don’t feel singled out. Also, get your kids swimming lessons. The sad reality of summer is a lot of children drown because they are left alone near water. Make swim lessons a priority, especially if you have a pool in your yard or vacation on a lake or at a beach. And never leave your child unsupervised by any body of water; it only takes a second for an accident to happen. If you’re going out on a boat make sure your children wear their life jacket the entire time. You can never be too safe.
Being outdoors in the heat can make you work up a sweat. Dehydration is a real concern during scorching summer days. Drink lots of water and eat foods that have high water contents such as cucumbers. Also, be sure to re-balance your electrolytes. Try adding a dash of salt to a slice of watermelon, or slip a bottle of coconut water into your beach bag. Also, stay out of the direct sun during the hottest parts of the day. If you have to be outside in the middle of the afternoon, plan on being around the water. Go to the local pool or set up a sprinkler in the yard, the kids will have a ball. Remember, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated!
All of this outdoor activity can wreak havoc on your allergies. Common summertime allergies are pollen, mold and bee stings. First and foremost, you should keep an EpiPen on you at all times, especially if you or a member of your family has severe allergies. Also, keep antihistamines on hand; they will help to calm an allergic reaction. If your symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Summertime brings fun but it also can bring forward dangerous situations. Keep these points in mind to keep yourself and your family safe all summer long.
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