The season of sun means fun for everyone. Think of families on vacation, newlywed couples on their honeymoons, or a group of college friends on a cross-country road trip. Whatever the summer holds in store, before you embark on that journey of a lifetime, be sure you protect yourself during all your sun-filled activities. Remember, sunburn and heatstroke are completely predictable and preventable.
Here are a few tips to remember from the Mayo Clinic:
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing so that your body can cool properly.
- Protect against sunburn.Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 15. Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen every two hours.
- Drink plenty of fluids.Staying hydrated will help maintain a normal body temperature.
- Be aware of medications.Some medications may affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and control Be aware of any sensitivities to your medications before heading out and choose to spend time in the sun or shade, accordingly. If you will be traveling in unfamiliar territory, have local emergency numbers/addresses on hand in case you experience heat-related medical problems.
- Avoid “hot car” tragedies.Don’t leave your child (or anyone, for that matter) in a hot car. When a car is parked in the sun, the temperature inside can rise 20° F in 10 minutes, which means an outside temperature of 80° F easily can reach 100° or more, potentially killing people who are unable to get out.
- Take it easy when it’s hottest.Sometimes, travel plans include strenuous activities. If that’s the case, undertake those activities in the cool evenings and mornings to help avoid overexerting yourself. Remember to drink fluids and rest frequently in a spot that’s not overly warm. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for times when temperatures will be moderate.
- Acclimate yourself.If you are transitioning from a cool climate at home to a significantly warmer one at your destination, give yourself time to get acclimated to the heat. If you are not conditioned to the hot weather, you are even more susceptible to heatstroke.