Once warm, sunny weather arrives, family fun and outdoor activities rank high on the to-do list. Your days can fill up with swimming, golfing, playing tennis, picnicking, camping, and other activities. Also, summertime means taking time to get away for weekend getaways and family vacations. But summer also provides opportunities for certain hazards like sunburn, dehydration, bug bites, water dangers, and more. Therefore, to make sure you and your family have a wonderful summer, check out these five important summer safety tips.
- Protect your skin from sunburn. Besides getting a bad sunburn, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase your risk of skin cancer. Seek shade between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Liberally apply a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays and with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher. Or, if you’re going to be out in the skin, protect your skin by wearing loose clothing with long sleeves and long pant legs. Also, cover your head with a hat since your scalp can get sunburned, too.
- Keep hydrated with temperatures soar. Drink plenty of water. Avoid sugar-sweetened and highly caffeinated beverages and alcohol since they can cause your body to get rid of fluids. Carry a water bottle with you when you’re out and about. If you’re exercising, make sure to drink more water. Don’t ignore the signs of dehydration – a dry, sticky mouth, lethargy, headaches, muscle cramps, and dizziness.
- Stop the insects from biting. Wear insect repellent to protect against mosquito, tick, and other insect bites. Cover exposed skin when walking in grassy or wooded areas. Avoid wearing perfumes or other fragranced products which attract bugs. Since mosquitos are more active at dawn and dusk, consider staying indoors.
- Obey pool/water safety rules. Always swim with a buddy. Never swim alone. Wear a lifejacket, if you don’t know how to swim or when boating. Swim in designated areas. Don’t dive or jump into unknown water. Never swim while intoxicated.
- Under no circumstances leave your children or pets in an unattended, parked car in hot weather, even for just a few minutes. Even on a mild, 80-degree day, the temperature in a parked car can reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 15 minutes. Children and pets are vulnerable in hot temperatures which can lead to dehydration, heat stroke, seizures, and even death.
Protect Your Feet this Summer
As you plan your summer activities, think about these summer safety tips for your feet, too.
- Avoid walking barefoot. Walking outside without shoes increases your risk of getting a foot injury. You can also pick up viruses and fungal infections, like Athlete’s foot, plantar warts, and ringworm.
- Apply sunscreen to your feet. Your feet can get sunburned, too, so don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen. Make sure to use a sunscreen that’s waterproof, especially if you’re swimming.
- Avoid blisters. Those new sandals may look cute, but when they rub against your bare skin, a blister can form. If you feel a blister coming on, use moleskin or other padding to reduce friction. If you get a blister, don’t pop it. You could introduce dirt or an infection, making it worse. Keep the blister clean and dry. Cover it with a bandage after it pops on its own.
- Wear the right shoes and socks for your activity. Sandals and flip-flops don’t provide your feet with enough support, especially if you’re walking or standing for long time periods. Acrylic and synthetic blend socks can help wick away moisture that can lead to fungal infections.
- Consider wearing ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, if you suffer from painful foot conditions. WalkEZStore custom orthotics are made to meet the exact specifications of each of your feet to give your arches optimal support throughout your day. With proactive use of ezWalker® Custom Orthotics, every step you take will be bio-mechanically correct. Plus, you’ll know you’re reducing your risk of foot pain while protecting your feet from injury. For more information about ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics, visit the WalkEZStore website. To order a pair of WalkEZStore custom orthotics, you can schedule an appointment with Kathy Carandang, our certified pedorthist, or place an order at our online shop.
Make sure your summer remains happy – and pain free by following these summer safety tips. Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cover photo credit: 123RF / dotshock