Prevent dehydration, sunburns, insect bites, and more with these outdoor safety tips.
As the official start to summer draws near, the days are noticeably longer, and the temperatures are joyously warmer. Before heading outdoors to enjoy some fun in the sun, consider these summer weather safety tips to make the most out of the season:
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear breathable clothing
- Apply sunscreen
- Seek out the shade
- Use insect repellent
- Bring ear protection
- Ensure food safety
Read more about each of these summer weather safety tips below.
Drink plenty of water
About 70 percent of your body is made up of water. When the temperature heats up during the summer, you can lose your reserves more quickly as you sweat. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration symptoms such as confusion, extreme thirst, infrequent urination, and low blood pressure. Consider keeping a reusable water bottle at the ready this summer, so you can fill it on-the-go. When you’re enjoying the great outdoors, doctors recommend taking a drink at least every 20 minutes. If you plan on being outside for longer than an hour or you’re exercising in the heat, consider adding in thirst-quenching electrolytes for even more hydrating effects.
Wear breathable clothing
When you have a day planned outdoors, dress wisely for the weather. Tightly-woven cotton and loose-fitting shirts and pants offer the best protection from the sun. Dry clothing provides better protection than wet ones, so be sure to change as soon as you get out of the pool, lake, or other bodies of water. Lastly, remember that clothing has a very low sun protection factor (SPF), so follow our next tip and apply that sunscreen wherever you go.
While you can get the benefits from sun protection year-round, it’s even more important during the summer months when the days are longer, and the sun is ever-present. Opt for a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. You’ll also want to consider the sun protection factor (SPF) of the brand. SPF 30 (or higher) is generally recommended because it filters out about 97% of potentially harmful UVB rays. Reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours, and even more often when you are swimming or sweating. If you have sensitive or fair skin, speak with your doctor about the right sunscreen for your skin type and summer activity levels.
Seek out the shade
Another summer weather safety tip is to seek out shady areas when spending time outside. Especially limit your direct exposure to the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m, when UV rays are at their strongest. If there are no trees or natural shady spots at your destination, consider bringing along an umbrella or shelter tent for some cooling relief.
Use insect repellent
Scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays can attract mosquitos and other pesky bugs in the summertime. If you’re planning to be in known areas where insects like to gather, such as forests, areas with uncovered foods, and blooming gardens, consider refraining from using those products. You can also apply an insect repellent with 10-30% DEET and wear light-colored clothing, long sleeves, and pants to help deter insects.
Bring ear protection
Fireworks, certain lawn equipment, and outdoor music venues are staples of summertime weather – but they can also cause noise-induced hearing loss. When you’re around those sounds, protect your ears with noise-cancelling earplugs or earmuffs and keep your distance to avoid potential damage.
Find other tips to protect your hearing from spring and summer sounds on our blog.
Ensure food safety
Practice the basic rule of food safety: keep hot foods hot, cold foods cold. Use insulated containers and coolers for your picnic and outdoor barbecue to keep food at a safe-to-eat temperature. Common ingredients to look out for include mayonnaise, eggs, dairy, and meat. If you are unsure how these sensitive foods were prepared or stored at an event, you may want to skip over them.
Enjoy the wonderful outdoors and stay safe with these summer weather safety tips for the whole family. Find more helpful pointers to enjoy the summer weather on our health and wellness blog.