Summer, with its warm sunny days, beckons us out of our homes for beach outings, picnics in the park, and hikes on beautiful trails. Before stepping outside to enjoy the summer sunshine, it is essential to equip ourselves with the necessary knowledge and practices ensuring a safe day under the sun. These summer safety precautions are simple and can effectively safeguard you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, dehydration, and potentially disease-carrying ticks.
Let’s delve into these preparations for a sun-safe summer: applying sunscreen, staying hydrated, and tick prevention.
Sunscreen: Your Sun Defence Doorkeeper
It’s often believed that sunscreen is only necessary if you’re going to be out in the sun for a long time. In reality, even brief exposure to harmful UV rays can damage your skin, underscoring the importance of summer safety precautions. Thus, using sunscreen isn’t a matter of choice; it’s a necessity.
Always opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that shields you from UVA and UVB rays. Many health associations recommend using sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 as it blocks about 97% of UVB rays. SPF 50 provides even greater coverage and is a good option for those extra sunny summer outings.
Everyone who spends a lot of time outdoors should reapply sunscreen, even if they are not sunbathing on a beach. It is recommended to reapply every 2 hours, and even more often if you sweat a lot or get wet.
Hydration: Quenching Thirst, Boosting Health
Incredible as it may seem, proper hydration often gets sidelined in summer safety precautions, though its importance can’t be overstated. Heat and physical activity can quickly deplete fluids from our bodies, which can lead to dizziness, dehydration, and even heat stroke.
To curb the risk of dehydration, the simple trick is to stay hydrated all-day long. Experts advise drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 oz. However, it’s best to discuss your individual hydration needs with your healthcare team. It is also advised to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as they contain important nutrients that can help keep you hydrated.
Do not wait until you feel thirsty to reach for your water bottle. In hot weather, your body might be dehydrated already once you’re already feeling that thirst. Water is not only necessary for survival, but it also keeps your skin feeling refreshed and helps regulate your body temperature on hot days.
Tick Prevention: Nature’s Hitch-Hikers
Ticks, prevalent during summers, pose a hidden risk to us all. They are small creatures that can carry Lyme disease and other infections. They attach themselves to the skin of a host and can pose health risks if they go unnoticed or ignored.
Investing a few moments in tick prevention as part of your summer safety precautions can ensure a summer free from these pesky parasites. Get into the habit of checking your entire body for ticks after being outdoors. Pay special attention to areas like the underarms, belly button, knees, and hair. To protect against ticks, it’s best to wear light-colored clothes and tuck in your shirt, pants, and socks. Ideally, you should also cover your shoes.
In Canada, Health Canada recommends using registered insect repellents for protection against ticks. Look for repellents with a Pest Control Products (PCP) number on the label, indicating that they are approved by Health Canada for use on humans. You can use Health Canada’s online Pesticide Product Label Database to find the right repellent for your needs. Always follow the product instructions for safe and effective use. Additionally, consider consulting your pharmacist for personalized recommendations on insect repellent products and other tick prevention measures.
If you find a tick, use tweezers to calmly remove it. Ensure you remove all parts of the tick and clean the area thoroughly. It’s advisable to contact a healthcare provider immediately after removal to seek professional advice, especially if you are in an area known for tick-borne illnesses. If you notice any suspicious rashes or symptoms related to ticks in the following days, inform your doctor without delay.
Apply sunscreen diligently to fend off harmful UV rays. Keep hydrated, especially during active days. For tick prevention, use Health Canada-registered insect repellents. After engaging in outdoor activities, it is important to conduct thorough tick checks and promptly remove any ticks you may find. These steps as part of your summer safety precautions pave the way for a safe summer outdoors. For more personalized assistance and recommendations, consider stopping by one of our pharmacy locations today!