It’s time to grab the sunscreen and bug spray! Here are some safety tips to make sure nothing stops you from enjoying your summer to the fullest.
Naturally, once summer arrives we want to spend as much time soaking up the rays as possible. It’s also when we have to be more careful to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of those rays. Be sure to wear (and reapply!) sunscreen whenever you’re outside. If you do happen to get burned, apply cold compresses, gels or creams containing aloe, menthol, or camphor, and stay hydrated.
Being out in the sun all day can leave you dehydrated and in danger of suffering from heat stroke. Signs of heat stroke include: red, hot, dry skin; rapid pulse; headache; confusion; dizziness; and cramping. To avoid heat stroke, try to remain hydrated with water or drinks that contain electrolytes. If you think you might be suffering from heat stroke, try to remove yourself from the heat and cool down with a cold shower or wrapping yourself with a cold wet blanket.
Bugs are a natural part of summer, but steps can be taken to avoid bugs bites. If you’re trying to limit your exposure to chemical sprays, there are natural repellents available. Soy based products such as Bite Blocker for Kids or Bug Soother have been shown to be an effective natural alternative, as well as natural oils such as lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and peppermint oil.
While most bug bites are simply annoying, certain bugs pose greater risks. Bees and wasps offer the chance for severe allergic reactions, so if you know you are allergic to them be sure to carry an EpiPen and avoid hives and nests when possible. If you don’t know if you’re allergic and you are bitten, be on the lookout for hives. If they develop quickly and in areas away from the sting, it’s best to check with a doctor to be on the safe side.
Ticks can be carriers of Lyme disease, and it’s best to try and avoid being bitten. Wear insect repellent and light colored clothing that covers your exposed skin when hiking through trees or tall grasses so you can see the ticks before they have a chance to bite. If you do find one that has attached, try to remove it gently using tweezers or a tick key. Try to remove as much of the tick as possible. After the tick is removed, clean the bite and keep an eye out for a bull’s-eye rash, fever, headache, and muscle or joint pain, which are all signs of Lyme disease.
With a little planning, your outdoor summer experience can be nothing but carefree and relaxing!