How to stay safe in the summer sun and heat involves some planning. When you get too hot, you may suffer more sun damage to your skin. Also, when you get too much sun, your body will have difficulty cooling itself properly.
How To Stay Safe In The Summer Time Sun and Heat
There are many ways to keep your body cooler when out in the summertime heat.
However, do you know about and use these simple solutions? A family outing to the park can end with someone in your group getting overheated when a simple solution would have prevented the incident.
Just like making a list for the grocery store, or for packing for vacation, you can be a bit more prepared with planning. So with this in mind, I would like to share this list from the CDC.
These suggestions are to help prevent heat-related illnesses, as well as death during our hotter weather season. They are good suggestions but meant to be used together. Sure one will make things better, 2 or more will make them a great deal better.
This is one situation when more is better. This is usually true for most simple solutions.
Staying In The Shade When Outdoors
- Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can when the days are hot. Staying in where there is shade and airconditioning is recommended for senior citizens and children under 3. If there is no airconditioning, shade and air circulation are important, along with loose fitting light weight clothing.
- Keeping your bodies protected with sun blocking clothing is an easy way to protect from too much sun.
Know When To Schedule Outdoor Activities
- Schedule your outdoor activities thoughtfully. Most times, you can decide to have your family outing at a time that is better for you. To keep your family safe getting to the beach or park earlier. You can build a fire in the grill and cook breakfast. Maybe you didn’t do things that way as a kid, but your kids will love it. Smores for breakfast!
You can pack sandwiches and have playtime early, and when the day starts to heat up, stay in the shade under the trees. Or take a pop-up canopy or a beach umbrella. Kids will love being able to be out and do something differently.
I do admit that when it gets hot and humid, we do have to be more careful and think about how to entertain our little ones and stay safe. This gets less appealing as I get older. Finding ways to have fun at home under the air conditioner is important.
However, I have found that when we get to the park by 8:00 AM or so, we are all ready to head in by 11:30 AM, and get to where it is cooler. By having a folded beach towel, or another appropriate pad to go on the ground, getting under the shade trees is easy
Getting out in the fresh air is what we all want, but in especially hot humid times, choosing our time wisely is important.
Remember To Drink Plenty Of Liquids
- Take along plenty off luiquds. Drinking enugh water and other liquids is one of the most important ways to keep your body cool. When we go to the park, taking water and other drinks is part of the plan. We have a wagon to put a cooler with bottles of water and juice for staying hyderated.
Of course, it is a bit more trouble than just jumping out and going, but we have more fun and fewer complaints. When one of the kids gets hot from running and playing, we can have a time out and drink some more fluids.
We have face cloths to wet down and wipe faces and necks to cool a bit. Arms and legs as well. Kids cool pretty quickly, have a few minutes on the “pallet,” and are back up having fun. You just must be aware of how the kids and adults are feeling. Heat issues are usually sneaky and quiet.
With older senior citizens in your group, they too benefit from shade, cool liquids, and resting in shade. Staying hydrated is harder with this group of your party because drinking more liquids means more visits to the restroom. This makes some reluctant to drink enough fluids, and they do get dehydrated.
This needs to be planned into the day. Just like going earlier, you can go where you will be just a short walk to the restroom.
- Take cool showers or baths to cool down when you return home.
Share With Your Kids And Seniors Information For Staying Safe
- Make yourself aware of heat related illnes and how to stay cool. Stay safe in hot weather.
High temperatures alone kill hundreds of people every year.
Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, yet more than 700 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States.
Prepare ahead to stay cool. Plan and be ready for your family to stay hydrated. If any member of your party getting too hot can make that person very sick, whatever their age.
Any member of your group, can and will, become ill from the heat if their body can’t compensate for the heat and properly cool you off. When you add sunburn it becomes very easy for a person to have major issues with cooling their body. Make sure to keep anyone with a sunburn in shade, and preferably at home in the airconditioning. For that family member, getting out is not as important as their overall health.
Pay Attention To High Humidity
One of the main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather is :
- High humidity creates it’s own barrel of issues. With high humidity your sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. This keeps your body from releasing the heat as fast as you may be need it to.
Trying to stay safe and keep the ones in your group safe is a challenge. We just don’t normally consider all these factors. However, when you prepare, you are not frightened or overwhelmed when you see a problem beginning to develop for someone in your group.
Help your kids to know how to communicate the discomfort they are feeling. I know this seems simple, how often have you asked your kids if they are thirsty or have a headache, and get a nod or shake of the head. Even when you ask if they don’t feel well.
Kids don’t always know how to ask for the help they need.
Your son or daughter needs to know how to enable you to help them. If they are with some other outing group, they need to be able to tell the person in charge that they are dizzy, not just shrug their shoulders. Give them the words to work with to be able to ask for help.
Other Factors That Can Make Heat and The Sun Be Dangerous
Things we know but have just not made ourselves aware of are medical emergencies in the making. Once you become aware of what can happen, you will be more observant and can help keep your group safe in the heat and hot sun. The CDC has good advice for heat safety.
- Age plays such an important part in the safety of being in the sun. With an aging population and the better more active health than the prior generations, it is easier to see a heat related health situation develop. Older members trying to keep up with younger genetation can be one of these situations.
- Prescription medications for problems that have developed in longer life spans can be problematic when the user is in the heat and sun very long. Many medications affect the way the users body will react to sun exposure, or heat. If you ask that nice senior citizen neighbor to take a walk with you, just be aware. Watch your Mom or Dad at family outings when it is hot. Make sure they are out of the sun, and have plenty of liquids.
- One factor we overlook is obesity. When a member of your fun in the group is really overweight, the heat and sun and humidity will become a factor quicker. Add that to age, and an emergency can happen. Help control the situation by changing the hours to be out to earlier or later.
Walking in the park is better done in the early morning or late afternoon, early evening hours. Plan for safety for group gatherings as well. While you can’t control all events, you may be surprised when you suggest later practice times for sports, or birthday parties.
A Few More Health Mentions
While these factors should be obvious, please add these conditions to your awareness.
- If a member of your group feels feverish after being in the sun for a while and gets a flushed look on their skin get them out of the sun, make sure they have plenty of fluids, a cool cloth to wipe their face and neck. Head for home and the air conditioner. If the case seems extreme, a visit to an emergency room may be in order.
Sometimes there is extra sensitivity to sun exposure that catches them by surprise. Anytime you see someone who seems to be having an issue, ask them if they are OK. They may not realize they have had too much heat.
That person who is just beginning to feel stress may not even be aware that they are showing signs of heat-related stress
Some Self Help For Staying Safe When It Is Hot And Muggy
Older and younger aged members of your fun in the sun group are most at risk for heat issues.
Let’s look at some of the reasons senior citizens are most affected.
Senior Citizens are the ones who seem to have more chronic diseases and must take medications. They have usually been taking these medications for some time at this point in their lives. Medications for this kind of illness seem to undermine the body’s ability to heat and cool properly. Blood pressure medications are one example.
Make sure to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of liquids. You may find that as a senior citizen, your best fluid is water, not cold beer as was once your favorite. Medications affect how alcohol works in your body when combined with hot sun, heat, humidity and physical activity.
Spend some time under a shade, or in air-conditioned conditions. Stay safe. It isn’t fun to be on an outing and push your commonsense boundaries and have to be rushed to an emergency room for treatment.
For The Younger Members Of Your Group
For children 3 and under, there are very dangerous risks in being out in the hot sun even when the humidity and heat are more tolerable. Their skin has not yet learned about safely cooling itself.
They are still developing their skin and the sweating to cool may not work properly. Keeping the kid’s in loose-fitting clothing to protect them from the sun and still allow airflow is very important for their safety.
Make sure you have a way to provide some kind of shade if you plan to be outdoors, and none is available. Reminding helps to remember about drinking water.
Being careful to beware of what your kids this young need is important. Keep them safe, and remember they also need shade time often. Time in an airconditioned room is also important.
Are there any flushed faces in your group? Be aware that keeping safe can start with some knowledge and a friendly question. Help keep everyone safe.
What To Do If You Are At Risk
People at greatest risk for heat-related illness can take the following actions to prevent illness or death:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as you can. Air-conditioning is the number one way to protect yourself from heat-related illness and death.
- If your home is not air-conditioned, you can reduce your risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned. Using air conditioning in vehicles to cool down helps.
- Contact your local health department or locate the air-conditioned shelter availavle in your area.
- Do not rely on a fan as your main cooling device during an extreme heat event. (According to the DCD, this is not enough cool for many areas.)
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Chilled water is best, but even room temperature will replace what the sweating takes away.
- Check on your friends or neighbors and have someone do the same for you.
- Don’t use your stove or oven for cooking. This will make you and your house hotter.
- Remember to wear loose fitting light weight clothing. Heavy clothing that is belted to tight will make you even hotter.
Common Sense Steps To Stay Cool For All Ages Of People
All of us should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, as well as death during our hot weather season especially when conditions are extreme:
- Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
- Be sure to drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty, yet.
- When you are scheduling outdoor activities, consider early morning, or late afternoon early evenings. .
- Remembe to wear loose, lightweight, sun blocking clothing and sunscreen where you are uncovered..
- Pace yourself.
- Cool showers or baths are a great way to cool down.
- Remember to check on friends or neighbors and have someone do the same for you.
- Do not ever leave your children or pets in your cars.
- Check the local news for health and safety updates. Keep up with the risks in your area. Videos explainging our changing climate
Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather:
- Limit your outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Wear sun blocking clothing apply sunscreen to areaes clothes don’t cover.
- Pace your activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
- Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- When out in the sun, wear sun block clothing and add sunscreen to uncovered areas.
Sami’s Take On How To Stay Safe In The Summer Sun and Heat
Stay safe is a matter of being aware. There are many ways to stay safe in the summer sun and heat. We just need to remind ourselves. I do think that knowing how important a break in the shade is will make it easier for me to suggest this break.
Multigenerational outings can be fun with some caution in place.
Most of us don’t mind being a bit better prepared for staying safe. Putting a folding lawn chair in the wagon with the cool drinks and snacks is not a big deal at all. I feel so much better after a brief rest in the shade.
I can enjoy being out for reasonable amounts of time with our grandkids with some shade and a way to have a break. It is just making me aware of how to make things easier. It is just like learning to wear sun blocking clothing to be able to protect my skin from the sun.
Now I am not coated in sunscreen making me feel I am in a sauna. Just knowing how to protect me. Making myself aware is a part of the learning process and keeping me and my family safe from heat and sun and humidity related issues.
Are you more aware of how you can take better care of your family?