Summer time is filled with fun – hiking, biking, swimming, camping, canoeing, and so much more. And while there is always lots to enjoy in the great outdoors, there are some irritating issues that are a part of summer like sunburn, bug bites, dehydration, and more. Wondering what you can do to avoid those summer annoyances and truly enjoy your time in the sun? These tips will help you stay outside and having fun through the summer and into the fall.
Adhering to the 20-Minute Rule
If you think the 20-Minute Rule is about snacking – think again! On hot and humid days ( virtually all the days of summer here in Florida), hydrate by drinking water every 20 minutes. Doing so will help prevent heat stress and heat stroke. If you plan on staying outside for an hour or more, add water or sports beverages with much needed electrolytes.
Keeping Insects Away
Though you may not want to hear it, keeping insects away means making yourself less attractive by avoiding your favorite scented lotions, perfumes, hairsprays, shampoos, and soaps. These beauty products attract mosquitoes along with other pesky biting insects. Using bug spray can help scare away ticks and mosquitoes when you’re spending time outside with family and friends. You can also avoid insects by staying clear of areas where they like to gather – flower gardens in bloom, tables of uncovered foods, and still water sources like ponds or pools.
Screening out the Sun
Even if the sun seems to be obstructed by the clouds, you still need to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect you and your family against UVA and UVB rays. Apply it frequently, particularly on the hottest days when perspiration can wash it away and while swimming in the pool, lake, or ocean. In addition, consider adding a hat and other sun protective clothing if you plan to be out all day.
Biking by the Rules
In most communities, local laws apply to bicycling. So, before you head out with the family, make sure you know the rules regarding your family bike ride. For safety sake, everyone should put on their helmets and understand the rules before you begin!
Playing it Safe
Playgrounds can be a wonderful place to spend an afternoon with the kids. When you arrive, do a quick safety check of the equipment, particularly if you are in unfamiliar territory. Rotting wood and worn plastic are a hazard for splinters and scrapes. Check slides before little ones ride, to make sure the surfaces aren’t too hot (they can burn). Playground equipment should always be in good repair, if not let the locality know – they’ll appreciate it!
Keeping an Eye on Foliage
There are several poison plants around as well as berries that look appetizing but shouldn’t be consumed. When out and about, be sure you know what to look for, and when in doubt consult a book with pictures or look them up on your phone. Poison ivy and poison oak are the most common, but nightshade, and other flora can also be poisonous.
Staying Safe in the Water
Water safety is important. Use the water safety tips when enjoying your favorite pool, lake, river, or ocean:
- Choose your location carefully, swimming where lifeguards are on duty.
- Don’t let anyone play near drains or other pool fittings.
- Avoid breath-holding contests.
- Know your family’s limits and set the rules accordingly.
Should you see someone struggling, call for help and try to assist with an approved floatation device or pole to help them.