Days and nights are heating up in north Texas and it’s only going to get hotter. This heat is a good reminder to use caution in the sun, whether you’re at a pool party, sporting event, camping and, especially, at the beach. While taking the proper precautions is a great idea, i.e. staying hydrated and using sunscreen, here are a more tips to stay cool and keep sunburns to a minimum.
Plan indoor activities.
Typically, the sun is at its strongest between the hours of 12-4 p.m. when ultraviolet rays are more potent and more likely to cause a sunburn. As a precaution, plan outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the evening, or plan some family fun for the indoors!
Choose appropriate clothing.
It’s already incredibly hot during the summer, so make sure you’re wearing clothes that help keep your body cool. Loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that will cover as much skin as possible are the best option. This will help keep the skin covered and avoid burns while allowing your body to stay cool due to the lightweight fabric.
Check on others.
NEVER EVER leave children or pets alone in vehicles. Temperatures inside a vehicle can reach more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) and exposure to such high temperatures can kill in minutes. Also, make sure you check on people who may be more vulnerable to heat risks, especially seniors, those with disabilities and those who live alone.
The heat may not take a break, but you can. Make sure you’re planning breaks throughout the day to step inside, drink water and enjoy the great indoors to keep your body from overheating or dehydrating. If you don’t have air conditioning, check out local libraries or shopping malls for heat-relief.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the most obvious tips to staying safe this summer.
Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and avoid heat stroke. While water is the best option, sports drinks can be a great and flavorful alternative. Alcohol and caffeine are not recommended for hydration.
Wear plenty of sunblock and reapply.
Make sure you’re applying sunblock liberally throughout the day. It’s best to find sunscreen or sunblock labeled “broad-spectrum,” which provides protection against UVA and UVB rays, with an SPF of at least 30, and continue reapplying every two hours. Setting an alarm on your watch or phone can be helpful for reapplication of sunblock. Also, make sure to apply to the most sensitive areas of your body such as your lips, eyelids and face, ears, feet and hands.
We know playing all day in the sun is the most fun way to spend your summer days, but doing so safely is the best way to avoid unwanted trips to emergency services.
HERE is more information on staying summer safe, or for more tips right in the palm of your hand, download the free Red Cross emergency app.
Happy first day of summer!