The warm weather is creeping over the country. It’s nice to be leaving the dreariness of a wet spring. However, we’re not looking forward to a hot summer. Summer can cause more problems than sunburn and too many bugs. Although, insects are a problem as we become more susceptible to West Nile Virus and encephalitis as we age. Be sure to wear bug spray in the summer!
The most significant danger is heat itself, especially as we get older. On Wednesdays we like to talk about ways to stay healthy, today we’re looking at good ways to keep cool!
Drink plenty of water; you don’t know you’re dehydrated until you’re thirsty, which is terrible when you are trying to stay hydrated. Sweating during the summer makes you dehydrated more quickly than in cool weather. Drinking eight glasses of water a day with always a good idea, even in cooler weather.
Avoiding heat stroke is imperative; spending too much time in the heat can make you ill. Cool showers or a cool, damp towel on your neck can help after spending time outside. If you enjoy walking or other exercises, be sure to do your routine in the morning, before it gets hot.
Try to stay in air conditioning. It can seem like obvious advice, or it can seem like an impossible order. For many of us, air conditioning is an extravagance we cannot afford. Libraries, malls and community centers are free. Many community centers and libraries have fun indoor summer activities, or they are great places to sit and read. They also usually have free wi-fi.
Paying attention to the weather forecast can be a big help, you can plan your day around the temperature. Additionally, you can dress appropriately. Loose, light-colored clothes and a broad hat are a great choice as they will help you stay cool while keeping the sun off your skin. Sunglasses are also a must. They aren’t merely an accessory; they can protect your eyesight from damaging UV rays.
Something to look out for in the summer rarely occurs to us: side effects from prescription medications. Ask your doctor and read your warnings; some drugs interact negatively with bright sunlight. It’s essential to know before you go to the park with family and friends. Take the precautions your doctor suggests so you can enjoy your time instead of becoming ill.
The biggest thing to do to protect yourself from the dangers of summer is to know your neighbors and know who to call in an emergency. Having backup and people who can help you close by can make a big difference. And remember, you’re never too grown up to enjoy a sprinkler!
To learn more about the symptoms of heat-related illness, click here.