How to Keep It Safe When You Soak Up the Sun

It’s finally summertime. We’re all looking for things to do to keep busy in a safe way, and yes – to get out of the house!

Here are some quick tips on how to enjoy the summer sun while playing it safe:

•    Skin Protection – When we plan those day trips to the beach or lake, we generally remember to bring proper skin protection like sunscreen and hats. But what about when children are just playing outside, when you’re hanging out by the pool or when you spend the day at an amusement park? Don’t forget skin protection at every summer outing, and opt for sunscreen that’s at least SPF 15.

•    Drinking fluids in hot weather is key. Water is always a good choice, but if you’re looking for variation, electrolyte solutions like Gatorade or Powerade are also great options. Just keep in mind that most sports drinks are not sugar-free, so if you or your children are diabetic, it’s better to drink the sugar-free versions or just stick with water. To keep your drinks cool while you’re out and about, try freezing them beforehand.

•    Keep track of how long you and your family are outdoors. You may not think you have been out very long, but you can quickly get sunburned or dehydrated.  Remember, if everyone else is perspiring and you aren’t, you may already be dehydrated.

•    Cool wet towels can be draped around your neck to keep your body at a healthy temperature.

•    Pets – You may be cool, but don’t forget your pets! Make sure they have plenty of water and shade.

Let’s all go outdoors and enjoy the summer! Just remember that a little preparation can go a long way to prevent common summertime hazards.

Race you to the pool!

– Alesia J. Wagner, Regional Medical Director, Southern California

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