Are You Walking on Sunshine?
By Juliann Haarman
Summer is finally here!
This past week on June 21, 2019, we officially kicked off summer in the Northern Hemisphere with Summer Solstice, which is when the sun reaches its highest peak of the year! Good-bye cold weather and hello to splashing good times at the pool, walks on the beach, gardening, hiking, or even playing catch in the backyard. Whatever your fancy, days filled with sun can be so much fun!
While enjoying this fantastic summer season, consider the following safety tips to ensure that you and your family remain healthy and well:
Beat the Heat
- Water to Go – bring cold water with you when you’re out and about.
- Dress Down – Wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibers like cotton or linen.
- Avoid – Alcohol, tea, coffee, and hot/spicy & salty foods, as they can increase dehydration.
- Soak – yes soak up the sun while you can, but also be sure to soak in a cool bath or shower when you feel hot.
- Enjoy – more cold foods such as salads and fruits. They contain water and are more refreshing in hot weather.
- Rest – Be sure to get enough sleep when feeling tired.
- Pets are the best – please make sure they have fresh water, a shady place to chill, and are never left in a car.
- The sun is at its peak between the hours of 11am and 3pm
- Put on Sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going out and reapply every 2 hours
- Check the UV Index
- Wear a hat and protect your body with clothing
- Stay hydrated
- Wear sunglasses
- Seek shade
Summer is the season of communal and outdoor cooking, leaving about 48 million Americans with food poisoning, and 128,000 hospitalized due to food borne illness each year.
- Cook and grill meats thoroughly
- Keep food prep surfaces clean and sanitized
- Don’t leave food out in warm temperatures where food bacteria tends to grow.
You might consider fireworks safety common sense, however, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission roughly 200 people visit the emergency room each year with fireworks-related injuries during the July 4th long weekend.
- Attend professional community fireworks shows and always stand clear to prevent hands, eyes, face, and finger injuries.
Keep Bugs at Bay
When the temperatures begin to warm, ticks, mosquitoes, and other not-so-fun bugs tend to come out in full force. If you're planning on hiking, camping, or engaging in other outdoor activities this summer you may find these tips helpful:
- Wear insect repellent (organic, all-natural options are available)
- Wear light colored clothing that covers your body.
- Avoid scented products such as soaps and perfumes, as they may attract insects.
- Eliminate sources of standing water around your yard and home.
- Check your pets and yourself for ticks.
- Shower after you have been outdoors.
Ticks are more than just a nuisance; they can transmit Lyme disease, as well as other infectious illnesses.
A few other ideas to improve your overall well-being and get you Walking on Sunshine are:
- Exercise every day! Even if only for 10 minutes – it doesn’t have to be intense to be effective.
- Eat fresh, local, seasonal foods
- Add protein, fiber, and fats to your diet
- Take a VACATION! De-stress and Rest!
These are just a few simple tips that you can keep in mind as you and your family walk your way through the sunny summer season! Enjoy, be safe, and be well!