The countdown is over. Summer is officially here! The Summer Solstice arrived yesterday on June 20th, which marked the beginning of summer and the point when the sun was directly over the Tropic of Cancer. This translates to the most daylight hours for Earth’s Northern Hemisphere – did you notice it was a longer day?
With warmer and longer days, summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, be active and spend time with friends and family. However, it is also important not to overlook common problems that creep up during this time of year. Get ready for the upcoming months with these simple tips to help you have a safe, fun and enjoyable summer!
Beat the Summer Heat
Too much sun can cause painful burning and increase the risk of skin cancer and heat stress. Take precautions to prevent skin damage:
- Stay out of direct sunlight for an extended period of time.
- Plan outdoor events early in the morning when it’s cooler.
- Wear sunglasses and light-colored, lightweight clothing and hats with wide brims.
- Apply sunscreen with SPF >30 and both UVA and UVB protection (even on cloudy days).
*Reapply after swimming or after staying outside for more than two hours.
Eating and Dining Out
Foodborne illnesses peak in the summer. Follow these steps to avoid food poisoning:
- Follow proper food safety by cleaning, separating, cooking and chilling your food.
- Check the food safety inspection reports from restaurants.
- Pack perishable cold foods in an insulator with ice or frozen “gel-packs” to keep the temperatures below 40° F (do not eat perishable food that has been left out in the sun for over 2 hours or one hour if over 90°F; when in doubt throw it out).
Click here to learn more on food safety during cookouts and camping trips.
Anticipate issues that may arise during your trip and practice healthy behaviors to protect yourself from injury or illness:
- See your doctor to check your health status before you travel.
- Check what shots may be required or recommended for your destination.
- Wear protective gear when doing adventure activities.
Click here for a more complete survival guide to a safe and healthy travel.
Swimming is a great recreational sport and a popular summer activity. Be aware of how to swim safely before you head out to the pool or open water:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards
- Never swim alone (even experienced swimmers may need help).
- Do not leave young children or non-swimmers unattended.
- Know your local emergency number and/or learn CPR (it’s a lifesaving skill, literally).
Make the time to look after yourself to make sure you stay well and fit so you can enjoy the pleasures of what this season has to offer:
- Maintain good sleep hygiene by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule.
- Apply bug spray with DEET and avoid insect breeding grounds and contact with wild animals.
- Hydrate and drink plenty of water before, during and after physical activity to avoid dehydration.
Read more on Staying Active in Warm Weather and Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy.