Summer can be immensely enjoyable – the weather is warm and many of us spend time with family and friends, enjoying the longer days outdoors. While these warmer months bring a lot of pleasure, they can also raise some safety concerns. Luckily, by following a few simple tips, we can be on our way to having a safe, yet fun summer!
Enjoy the Summer Sunshine but Stay Protected!
Spending time outside and soaking up the sunshine is the best way to enjoy the summer months. However, it’s important to stay safe and protected while doing so! Limit your exposure to the sun as too much exposure can cause severe sunburns or skin cancer. The easiest way to avoid these risks is to wear sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you apply sunscreen that is water resistant, has an SPF of 30 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It’s important to remember that sunscreen wears off and should be reapplied if you are in the sun for more than two hours as well as after swimming, sweating or drying off with a towel. Sunscreen also expires, so be sure to check your bottle’s expiration date! Clothing can also act as a protection between you and the sun. Wearing garments that cover your arms and legs, and wearing accessories such as wide-brimmed hats are both ways you can care for your skin and still stay in the sun! Taking cover and staying in shaded areas is another way to reduce your risk of harm.
Beat the Heat by Staying Hydrated
Replenish your fluids often and frequently, as much of our fluids are lost through sweat, especially during the hotter months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying hydrated is one of the best ways to prevent heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. If you’re feeling over exhausted by the heat, be sure to cease activity and take time to rest, drink plenty of fluids and take cover in a cool, air-conditioned or shaded area.
Protect Yourself from Insects
If you spend your summer engaging in outdoor activities, there is a higher risk of getting bitten by a mosquito, which can potentially cause disease. Luckily, there are several ways to protect yourself from diseases that may be transmitted via mosquitos. The Los Angeles County West Vector Control District suggests that when outdoors, use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellent that contains one of these four active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Other ways to protect yourself include wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, emptying sources of standing water outside the home and using mosquito netting when enjoying the outdoors.
Keep a Balanced Diet!
It’s important to be intentional with the food you eat, especially during the summer when eating out is common. The CDC recommends meals that emphasize dairy, protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Consuming less added sugar, saturated fat and sodium are also ways to keep our bodies healthy and nourished. However, eating mindfully does not mean mealtimes have to be boring! Simple adjustments like consuming fruit for dessert or adding lemon juice to water in place of drinking sugary soda are small steps to help maintain healthy eating habits. Eating out at restaurants also doesn’t have to be removed from your lifestyle! The Beach Cities are home to many restaurants that are Blue Zones Project Approved, meaning that they prioritize offering healthy food options to their customers. View the list of restaurants here!
Have fun during the summer but most importantly, stay safe!