Summer Health and Safety

There’s no reason we can’t get outdoors and enjoy the summer sun, but it’s important to take some precautions against the heat. Our bodies struggle to regulate internal temperatures in the heat, and we can fall victim to dangerous health conditions like heat stroke. Here are some things to remember for these hot summer months.

Don’t Overexert Yourself
Using too much energy can result in your body becoming dehydrated much quicker than usual, which can lead to heat stroke or collapse. Your energy levels also drop as you age, making this dehydration process happen faster. Pace yourself.

Dress Appropriately
Don’t wear heavy layers during the summer, even if you are prone to getting cold. Your internal body temperature can quickly rise if you are dressed too warm. Instead, try clothing like lightweight shirts and pants, light-colored clothing and breathable fabrics.

Avoid using the oven
When it’s too hot to cook, turn to meals that can be prepared in a crockpot, on the grill, or in your microwave. Limiting oven use will keep you and your home cool.

Know your body’s cooling points
Your wrists, neck and elbows are pressure points on the body that can quickly cool your body when cool water is applied. Apply a cool, damp cloth or an ice pack to these pressure points to get instant relief from the heat.

Block the sun
Hang light-blocking curtains and blinds to cool your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, window treatments can help decrease room temperatures by 45%. When you head outside, remember to wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher.

Eat more fruits and vegetables
There’s a reason why salads are a go-to meal during the hot summer months. On hot summer days, go for foods that are easy to digest such as fruits and vegetables. These foods are filled with water and can help you stay hydrated and cool.

Stay Indoors
An easy way to avoid the heat is to just stay inside. On particularly hot days, plan to stay indoors— whether in your own home or at a place like a shopping center or movie theater. Indoor activities and alternative exercises can help you stay fit and active without having to brave the hot sun and risk your health.

Senior citizens, remember to pace yourself. And young children sweat less because their sweat glands aren’t fully developed yet, so keeping hydrated is key.