Play It Safe This Summer

1. We know to use sunscreen, but do we use it often enough? Make sure your sunscreen is broad-spectrum so it blocks both UVB and UVA rays. You need sunscreen, even if it’s not a blazing hot sunny day, especially around the water. Limit your exposure from 10am-4pm and wear a hat, if you can pull one off. Don’t forget to reapply every 1-2 hours, depending on your skin tone and level of protection.

2. Hydrate at least every 20 minutes. It’s easy to get dehydrated on hot, humid summer days. If you are out more than an hour, add a sports drink that can replace your electrolytes. Watch for heat exhaustion or heat stroke, both conditions to take seriously.

3. Make yourself unattractive…to bugs, that is. Try not to use scented soaps, perfumes and hairsprays that can attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs. (1) Wear bug spray with DEET that can also repel ticks, which can carry Lyme Disease.

4. Going out? Tell someone! Summer is a great time to go hiking, camping and exploring. Be sure to take a first aid kit, water and a snack with you and charge your phone before you go. No matter what precautions you take, tell someone where you’re going. When you go on vacation, make sure other family members or neighbors know your whereabouts. If anything happens, you’ll be glad someone was watching out for you.

5. Check play equipment. Whether at the local park or in your yard, make sure the equipment is safe and the materials are cool enough to be comfortable. Check with a wrist or underside of an arm, where the skin is more sensitive than your hand. A child’s leg can easily burn on playground equipment.

6. Scan for dangerous plants, like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. In North Carolina Poison Sumac is fairly common in swamp edges and wet woods in the Coastal Plain. (2)
If you find yourself itching from coming into contact with one of these plants, tecnu is a great product to have on hand. Tecnu is an over-the-counter skin cleanser. It is intended for use by humans and furry pets after topical exposure to urushiol, the active ingredient in poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac. You can find it on Amazon, at Rite Aid, Walmart and Bed, Bath & Beyond.
However you spend your summer, be sure to play it safe and take the precautions necessary to ensure great memories.

click here for a great article about summer safety tips for seniors.

(1), (2) and pictures-from WebMD, and tecnu website