Summer Health & Food Safety

 

The summer season is meant to be enjoyed with your family and friends and not worrying about sun damage or not feeling well. If you’re busy with activities, it’s often easy to forget to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, drink enough water to stay hydrated, or know the best ways to prepare and store food to prevent them from spoiling.

If you follow these simple steps, you can make the most of your summertime fun.

Beat the Heat!

Here are some simple summer safety tips to remember wherever and whenever you’re outdoors.

  • Stay in a cool, shaded area.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of UV light.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Wear clothing that’s loose and light.
  • Don’t overdo it – work, play, and exercise more lightly than usual.
  • Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and apply often.
  • Limit your exposure between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Three Simple Words

  1. Water. Drink water (or “electrolyte” beverages) often, even before you become thirsty.
  2. Rest. Take frequent breaks away from the sun’s rays, ideally in an air-conditioned or cool, well-ventilated area.
  3. Shade. Take advantage of any place you can take shelter from the sun (trees, canopy, indoors).

Sunscreen

When using sunscreen, make sure to follow these simple instructions.

  • Use “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
  • Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, or more often if you have been swimming or sweating.

Sunburn Relief

If you have sunburn, make sure to find a way to cool down. This should be your first line of treatment. Then, apply the following steps to bring relief.

  • Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain.
  • Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera.
  • Drink extra water.
  • Take extra care to cover up in the sun.
  • Consider taking an aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the swelling.
  • If your skin blisters, allow them to heal.
  • Seek medical attention if needed.

Stay Hydrated

It is recommended to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, you may need more or less depending on the climate, how much you exercise, and how healthy you are.

You may need to drink more water than usual if you:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Are sick and have a health problem like a urinary tract infection

If you have health concerns, remember to talk to your doctor before increasing the amount of water you drink. You may need to limit your fluids if you have ailments such as heart failure or kidney problems.

Healthy Water Tips

Drinking enough water is a vital part of staying healthy and to keep your body functioning at its best. Here are some healthy tips to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the summer.

  • Eat water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. Top picks include zucchini, watermelon, and grapefruit.
  • Add a lemon or a cucumber for extra zest and energizing flavor.
  • Use a marked water bottle. A bottle that is marked with ounces or even hours can help you reach your personal water goal each day.

Summertime Food Safety

Food safety during the summer months is important in keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy. Remember to keep these tips in mind whenever you are preparing and storing food.

  • Chill raw and cooked foods promptly to avoid The Danger Zone (40 °F - 140 °F).
  • Don’t leave food at room temperature for longer than two hours (or one hour if temperature is above 90 °F).
  • Keep perishable food in an insulated cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.

No matter where you spend your summer, being prepared for the elements will ensure you maximize your enjoyment and activities in the happiest and healthiest ways possible.

The contents provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare provider prior to changing your diet, starting an exercise regimen, or with any questions that you may have about your health or medical condition.