Summer is here, which means it’s time for beach vacations, outdoor fun, and lounging by the pool. With the right tools and preparation, summer can be a relaxing and safe time for you and your family.

Whether you’re headed to the pool or a backyard barbecue, remember to protect your skin. This means lathering up the sunscreen and loading up on bug spray. Reach for a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to reapply! A good rule of thumb is to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and immediately after swimming or sweating. By protecting your skin, you prevent painful sunburn and reduce your risk for skin cancer. If you’re in a particularly buggy area, use bug spray with at least 10% DEET to avoid those pesky bites.

Water activities pose unique risks. Always supervise young children when swimming in the pool or the ocean, and make sure that those who are not strong swimmers wear proper flotation devices and stay in shallower water.

During the summer, it’s important to mind the warmer temperatures. Learn to recognize the signs of heat illness, such as headache, nausea, dizziness, confusion, or a rapid pulse. If you notice someone experiencing these symptoms, get them out of the heat and seek medical attention.  Check out our tips below for some more ways to stay safe in the sun this summer!

Summer Safety Tips

  • Check expiration dates. Sunscreen is designed to remain effective for up to 3 years. Check the expiration dates on your sunscreen to make sure your skin stays protected.
  • Hydrate. If you’re going to be outside, bring a water bottle with you. Take breaks at least every 20 minutes to drink water.
  • Share your summer plans. Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Someone needs to know where you plan to be, just in case.

Sources: National Safety Council, CDC, American Heart Association. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only.  For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.