Safety awareness is important throughout the year. As the temperature climbs during the warmer months you should take a few extra precautions to stay safe.
Protect Your Skin
Sunburn and insect bites are common ailments during the summer. To keep your skin glowing instead of crispy, and smooth rather than bumpy, apply sunscreen and insect repellant daily. Sunscreen should be worn at all times when outdoors -- even on a cloudy day. Use a water-resistant sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, apply it ten minutes before sun exposure and re-apply every two hours. After applying sunscreen, spray insect repellant evenly on uncovered skin and on the outside of clothes. Sunscreen and repellants can wash off in water so re-apply after sweating or swimming.
To prevent dehydration, it’s important to remember to drink water throughout the day. Factors such as exercise, warm temperatures and illness can impact the amount of water needed. Staying hydrated helps your heart and muscles function more efficiently.
Heat exhaustion can occur when the body loses excessive amounts of salt and water due to sweating. People who work outdoors are particularly susceptible. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include thirst, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness and elevated body temperature. Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke so it’s important to treat symptoms promptly by moving to a shaded or air-conditioned area, drinking water and applying wet towels to the face.
Heatstroke can occur when the ability to sweat fails, causing the body temperature to rise quickly. Heatstroke is often fatal and those who do survive may suffer from permanent organ damage. Symptoms of heatstroke can include extremely hot skin, altered mental state and seizures. Treatment is focused on lowering body heat: a person suffering from heatstroke should be assisted to the shade and place in a seated position while you call for medical help. Apply ice, if available, to their armpits, neck or groin.
Use these prevention strategies this summer to stay safe while you have fun in the sun.
Written by: Ashlyn Rhyne, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. American Heart Association