Summertime is full of fantastic weather, fun outdoor activities, and easy-going vibes that reduce stress and make us feel better, but it also comes with additional health hazards you should avoid. Read on to find out what you can do to protect yourself while soaking up the summer season.
Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
Mom was right all along: If you want healthy-looking skin, load up on the sunscreen. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting over one million people each year. If you have fair skin, hair, or eyes, are over the age of fifty, or are a self-described sun-worshipper, you’re likely to be at greater risk for skin cancer. Try to avoid the hottest, sunniest parts of the day this year and take plenty of breaks in the shade. We promise you’ll still get all the vitamin D your body needs.
Protect Your Eyes
Your sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, they’re vital for your ocular health in the summer months. Just like too much sunlight can damage your skin, too much exposure to ultraviolet rays will harm your eyes. It’s important to note that not all sunglasses are created equal—it’s not enough to simply block the light. A darkened piece of glass over your eyes will only cause your pupils to open more, letting in more harmful UV light. Be sure your shades block or filter UV rays. Always wear them near water where the sun’s rays can become even more intense.
Watch What You Eat: Summer Food Poisoning
Picnics, cookouts, barbecues! One of the best things about the summer is the grub. But you might look at the crab salad a little differently once you know the CDC reports 76 million food-borne illnesses each summer. Dining al fresco is great, but make sure that you and your family are practicing safe food handling. Put cold food items on ice and be careful not to leave even hot items in the sun.
Fighting Heat Stroke
There are over 600 heat-related deaths each year, all of which could have been prevented with proper interventions. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition in which the b body’s core temperature rises to a critical level, similar to a fever. Watch your friends and family this summer. If you see any of them become short of breath, confused, or complaining of a racing heart, call 911 immediately.
Beware of Bug Bites
Annoying, itchy, sometimes unavoidable, bug bites can also be quite dangerous, infamous for passing West Nile and Lyme Disease. Your best defense is to load up on a good bug spray the same way you would sunscreen. It’s also not a bad idea to carry around a long pair of pants and long sleeve shirt in case you find yourself near standing water or other places with a surplus of insects looking for their next meal.