3 Tips for Summer Fun
December 7, 2017
Summer equals fun for most families. The kids are out of school. Vacations are planned and everyone is ready for outdoor activities. But having fun in the sun can have its risks, especially if you are not prepared.
Here are three tips to make sure your summer stays fun and healthy:
- Stay Cool. High temperatures create higher risks for heat stroke. Heat stroke happens when your body can’t keep itself cool. Your body cools when your perspiration evaporates. But in extreme heat, sweating sometimes isn’t enough to cool your body. That’s when your temperature rises and heat stroke becomes a danger. Symptoms to watch for include hot, dry and flushed skin, rapid heartbeat, confusion and loss of consciousness. To decrease your chance of heat stroke, play it safe and take these:
- Increase the time you spend outdoors gradually to become acclimated
- Avoid the hottest time of day by scheduling activities during the early mornings or late evenings
- Drink lots of water before beginning outdoor activities and every 15 to 20 minutes during your activities
- Drink less alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee since they can contribute to dehydration
- Wear lightweight, light colored and loose-fitting clothing
- Avoid Sunburn. Sunburns hurt. Worse, overexposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. Follow these tips to avoid both:
- Stay out of the sun during the most dangerous time of the day, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Use umbrellas, hats and shady areas to protect yourself from the sun
- Use sunscreen every day
- Buy sunscreens that are waterproof and look for those that block both UVA (causes aging) and UVB rays (causes burning)
- Bike Safely. Americans love to ride bicycles. In fact, the 2012 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors, reports that 18 percent of the population age 16 or older rode a bicycle at least once during the summer. If you and your family enjoy pedaling, buy and wear a bicycle helmet. There are helmet laws in 22 states and many local ordinances in the other states. Even if it’s not the law in your city, the cost is inexpensive and a helmet is the best protection to help avoid head trauma from a bicycle accident. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute (www.helmets.org) recommends following these tips for finding a helmet:
- Helmets made for sale in the United States must meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard. Look for a CPSC sticker on the helmet.
- Most helmets are made of EPS foam with a thin plastic outer shell. The shell helps the helmet skid easily on rough pavement to avoid jerking your neck. The shell also holds the EPS together after the first impact.
- Choose a smooth, rounded outer shell, with no sharp ribs or major snag points. Also, choose a bright color so vehicle drivers can see you easily.
- Look for air vents. Vents on the front of the helmet provide the best air circulation.
- Try the helmet on before you buy it. Adjust the pads and straps or the one-size-fits-all head ring. Once you’ve got the helmet on, try hard to tear it off. If you can rip the helmet off your head, it’s not a good fit.
- Check out 2015 trends and recommendations for helmets here.