Summer is officially here which means many Americans will be spending time in pools, on vacations, or at barbecues. However, the summer heat can be hazardous. Hot and humid conditions force human bodies to work harder to regulate temperature. Older adults (and those with underlying conditions) face more risk in the heat. Here’s some summer safety tips to stay cool, dry, and protected this season.
Prepare for the Heat
Before a heat wave hits, ensure your air conditioning is working properly and install weather stripping on windows and doors to keep the hot air outside. Windows that get sun, whether in the morning or afternoon, should be covered with drapes or shades. This simple step can reduce heat in your home significantly. Additionally, consider using slow cookers or grills to cook, as traditional ovens and stoves produce a lot of excess heat.
For those road tripping this summer, it’s imperative to make sure the family vehicle has had routine maintenance to prevent any mechanical issues during the getaway. It’s also recommended to review the car’s auto insurance coverage before taking a trip. SmartFinancial, the nation’s premier insurance shopping destination for consumers, provides drivers with a place to price compare insurance quotes to help policyholders save money on their auto insurance in minutes.
Outside in Summer
According to the CDC, “heat kills more than 600 people in the United States each year. Preventing heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion, is important for people of all ages, but extreme heat poses the greatest risk for people under age 4 and over 65, and anyone who has a pre-existing medical condition or who lives in a home without air conditioning.”
To prevent a summer-health incident, drink plenty of water. Drinks with high sugar content, think soda or energy drinks, can cause dehydration. It’s best to stick to drinking plain water, especially if you’re spending a lot of time outside. Cooling off with water mist is also highly recommended. For those without access to a pool or sprinkler, consider using a spray bottle filled with water to combat the hot temperatures.
It’s also recommended to:
- Wear hats and sunscreen. It’s recommended to use at least 50 SPF
- Be wary of signs of heat stress which include dizziness, muscle cramps, and nauseousness
- Avoid strenuous exercise during the afternoon or the hottest part of the day
- Wear loose and lightweight, light-colored clothing
- Pay attention to heat advisories
Unprotected skin can be burned by the sun in just fifteen minutes. The powerful UV rays of the sun may burn someone in under a half-hour, but it often takes up to twelve hours for the skin to show signs of damage. The CDC recommends staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which is when UV rays are at their highest level. Even if it’s a cloudy summer day, sunscreen is a must. Spending time outside with friends and family is what summer is all about, but to ensure a happy, safe, and healthy summer, knowing how to prepare and protect oneself from the excessive seasonal temperatures can make all the difference.