Summer safety

Summer can be the most exciting season, especially for college students, since it typically means time away from school. While some students spend this time working, interning or taking summer classes, others prefer to spend their time resting on vacation. If you’re in the group who enjoy summers filled with traveling, swimming and sunbathing, you should also be wary of a few unseen dangers that are slightly unique to the season. Here are some suggestions for keeping safe over the summer:

Stay hydrated

This is really important for staying safe during the summer. Hot weather will cause dehydration and that is a trip to the emergency room if it gets out of hand. According to the American Heart Association, keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. It helps the muscles work efficiently.

For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated since the sugars and additives in sodas or juices might not be as efficient to the body as plain water. However, sports drinks may be useful for people doing exercise in very hot weather as they help replenish lost electrolytes and other nutrients.

Avoid vigorous exercise in very hot weather

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, heat stroke can happen to anyone who overworks themselves on a hot day. If the temperature of the day rises too much, it is better to stay out of the sun. Also, try not to walk or run barefoot when temperatures rise as doing so can lead to injuries including severe burns.

Additionally, they advise that people wear swim shoes around pools and in public showers to reduce the risk of athlete’s foot. It’s  especially important to wear them when visiting a beach to prevent injuries from hidden sharp objects and keep feet comfortable on hot sand.

Be wary of the sun

It is a natural to want to get out in the sun during a warm summer day, but according to the American Cancer Society, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. Too much exposure to these rays can also cause sunburn and premature wrinkles. Shielding skin with clothing, broad-spectrum sunscreen as well as staying in the shade can help lower the risk of skin damage caused by the sun.

It is also good to know what sunscreen is the best to use. The American Cancer Society suggests choosing a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against ultraviolet rays, though higher SPF numbers don’t necessarily equal more protection. Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that no sunscreens are waterproof or sweat-proof and manufacturers are not allowed to claim that they are. For best results, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours a day and after swimming or sweating.

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