With the passing of Memorial Day, summer is upon us and many people are out and about enjoying the summer sun. However, for the health of you and your family, there are a few things you should keep in mind. As you and your family are out enjoying the summer sun, here are some tips to help you stay healthy:

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

woman's back with a sun drawn in sunscreen

First and foremost if you plan on being outside, be sure to wear and reapply sunscreen as needed. You should apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before you go outside since it takes about that long to be absorbed into your skin. It is recommended that you use sunscreen that contains sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, although higher SPF levels provide additional protection. On average, you can expect to reapply sunscreen every two hours that you are out in the sun. It is especially important to wear sunscreen between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm, because this is when the sun is brightest and the UV rays are the strongest. Not only does sunscreen help to prevent painful sunburns, but it will also protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that are known to cause skin cancer. 

Stay Cool

Although it may be hard to stay cool during the summer, you want to take special care to not get overheated. There are different heat-related illnesses that can occur if your body gets too hot. Depending on the symptoms and their severity, heat-related illnesses can require immediate medical attention. To stay cool in the summer heat, exercise in the morning, evening, or in the shade whenever possible. You should also wear lightweight clothing that allows for the evaporation of sweat, as well as a hat to minimize additional sun exposure. 

Drink Plenty of Water

young girl drinking a glass of water

Along with staying cool, many heat-related illnesses can also be prevented by staying hydrated. The recommended amount of water is eight glasses a day, however you should aim to drink more than that if you are out in the summer sun. When you are out in the summer sun, it is important to drink water constantly before you get thirsty. This allows your body to produce the necessary amount of sweat to keep you cool without being dehydrated. When it comes to staying hydrated, water is the best thing to drink. Additionally, you should avoid or limit drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol, since these can lead to dehydration. 

Wear Insect Repellent

Many insects are highly active during the summertime and feed on human blood. In fact, ticks are the most active between late June and early July, and mosquitoes are most active throughout summer. To protect you and your family from insect-borne illnesses, be sure to use insect repellent, especially if you are hiking, camping, or are planning to spend a lot of time outdoors. Not only will insect repellent keep bugs from spreading illnesses, but it will also keep them from biting. This means no more itchy bug bites. 

Amrendra Kumar, MD

Dr Kumar is a highly skilled physician dedicated to providing gentle and effective care to patients of all ages and medical conditions. He achieved his degree in a field that he is passionate about. He believes that excellent health begins with education and has made his mission to enlighten patients to ways they can take greater control over their health. Dr Kumar is committed to continuing education activities and remaining aware of the latest advancements in Medical Science to maintain current high standards of care.