Weather wise or Otherwise?

Summer is finally here! And just in time. I can’t wait to get outside! I was starting to get cabin fever!

Whether escaping to the beach for a weeklong vacation or just hitting the backyard for a barbecue, July is the perfect month to spend time with friends and family in the great outdoors. While the heat and the sun are two ingredients for the perfect summer get-together, they also pose threats that can make you wish you’d stayed in the A/C. But following some simple tips and tricks can keep you safe all summer long. Here are some of the most helpful pointers I’ve found:

• Probably the most important thing we need to do to protect ourselves during outdoor summer activities is STAY HYDRATED. While water is the number one choice for maintaining adequate hydration, you can also stay hydrated by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Great choices to take on your picnic or beach trip are watermelon, cantaloupe, oranges, cucumbers, and celery. You can also drink tea, sports drinks, juice and even soda to help stay hydrated, but be sure to watch your sugar levels. If you are drinking alcohol, make sure you drink enough water to balance it out.

• Eat something salty. Although excessive salt can dehydrate you, some salt is necessary to replenish your body when sweating under the summer sun. A handful of pretzels or salted nuts is a great way to balance your body’s sodium levels and give you energy to keep up the play all day!

• If your outdoor event is going to be in direct sunlight, make sure that you listen to the American Cancer Society’s advice and “Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap!” Slip on a shirt; slop on some sunscreen; slap on a hat; and wrap on sunglasses. That’s right. Protecting yourself from the sun’s rays isn’t only about protecting your skin, but also means protecting your eyes. These tips will help you stay safe in the sun and avoid a painful sunburn! OUCH! But even when following these guidelines, you should still be mindful of how long you are out in the sun.

• Sometimes it doesn’t matter how careful you were in the sun, you still walk away with a burn. If you do get sunburned, there are some simple things you can do to soothe your lobstery skin. First, take some quick acting, over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen. Then, take a cool shower. Try to avoid soap and scrubbing as they might further irritate the skin and increase pain. Finally, apply topical treatments for pain and inflammation—aloe vera and cortisone are two smart choices.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. I hope that these pointers help you stay safe in the sun all summer long, so you can enjoy your July as much as I’m going to enjoy mine! Stay cool!