Summer time usually means staying by the poolside, barbecues and other outdoor festivities, but with that comes sun exposure, mosquitos and various safety hazards! It’s important to prevent injuries and keep you and your family healthy while enjoying the outdoors. Below are a few tips to help keep your family healthy and safe this summer season:
Longer days and more daylight provide more opportunities for you to get outside and get some exercise in! Swimming, walking, biking and jump-roping are all great ways to burn some calories this summer. You can make enjoying physical activity a thing for the whole family! Playing tag, frisbee and hula-hooping are great ways to get the kids involved and everyone moving.
One thing to keep in mind is that the warmer temperatures make exercising outdoors a bit more challenging. Wear lightweight and light-colored clothes to keep yourself cooler. With the hottest time of the day being between noon and 3 p.m., try to keep your exercising to mornings or evenings after the sun sets. Most importantly, drinks lots and lots of water, before, during and after you are physically active!
Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes and Other Pests
It’s important to carry around bug spray containing at least 20% deet to deter mosquitoes and others pests when outside. Mosquitoes are also attracted to sweet smelling perfumes and sprays, so try to minimize use of these products if you plan to be outside for extended periods of time.
Protect Your Skin and Eyes
When out hiking, swimming or camping it’s easy to forgot about applying sunscreen, but this is one very important step to take in order to prevent skin cancer. Before you spend time outdoors, it’s a good idea to check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s UV Index which provides a daily forecast of the expected intensity of UV radiation in your area. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher (SPF 30 or higher for extended stays outdoors). Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours!
Eye protection is also important – researchers estimate we receive 80% of our lifetime exposure to UVR rays before the age of 18, so it’s important to protect children’s eyes too. Wearing sunglasses that transmit no more than one percent of UVB and one percent UVA is a good idea. Make sure the lenses of your sunglasses are dark and large enough to completely cover the eye and sides. Wearing a hat with a wide brim is also a good idea to protect your eyes!
Healthy Summer Snack Ideas
One of the many great things about summer is the wide assortment of summer fruits that are in season. Watermelon, pineapple and mangos are just a few of the delicious summer fruits one can enjoy! For a full list of the best summer fruits, click here.
Making frozen popsicles with fruit are a good healthy summer snack if you are wanting to incorporate summer fruits into your snacking. Or simply freezing your fruit adds a nice twist for a quick snack. If you prefer veggies over fruit, you could also toss a cold salad mixed with raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots and celery and add a light dip. Homemade trail mixes are another good idea – avoid buying the pre-packaged kind that can sometimes come loaded with extra sugar and make your own with a mix of nuts and dried fruits! Looking for a place to get your summer fruits and veggies? Click here to find a farmers market near you!
Swimming is a great way to cool off during the hot summer days. When swimming with children make sure to chose swimming areas with a lifeguard, keep their ears dry as possible to help prevent swimmer’s ear and remind them to not swallow pool water. Learn more swim safety tips here.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4. It’s important to protect the ones you love and prevent drowning. It’s a good idea to have children wear life jackets around natural large bodies of water such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. For weaker swimmers, it’s a good idea to have children wear life jackets in pools too, even if they are shallow. Learn more drowning prevention tips at cdc.gov.