From beating the heat and staying hydrated to mastering water-related activities and keeping ticks from your backyard, the ConnectedHealth
team has a game plan to keep you safe and enjoying the summer sun.
Choose the right sunscreen: While numerous sunscreen formulations are available, pick only those that are labeled “broad-spectrum.” Why? You’ll get protection from both UVB and UVA rays. Also, don’t rely entirely on SPF (sun protection factor) numbers to guide your choice. SPF only measures UVB protection, and you want protection from UVA rays, as well. Choose at least SPF 15 and be sure to reapply frequently.
We’ve all heard it before – to stay healthy, we need to stay hydrated. Drinking enough fluids is an important part of maintaining good health on a daily basis, and that’s especially true in the summer. Andrew DeMarco, MD (affectionately known as Dr. Andy), lead internist at ConnectedHealth, offers advice. “Mild dehydration – in which we lose less than two percent of body weight due to inadequate fluids – can cause health problems, such as headache and dizziness.”
Dr. Andy recommends eight to nine cups of total fluids a day. He also notes that it’s important to increase our fluid intake in accordance with the weather. “Outdoor humidity causes our bodies to need more fluids,” he says. And when exercising, it’s important to drink one cup of fluids every 15 minutes. “Sports drinks are a great option,” says Dr. Andy, “because they contain electrolytes, which help to maintain proper cardiac function and muscle contraction.”
Know your H20
Summer is a great time for water activities. They’re fun, they cool us down, and they provide an array of opportunities for family and friends to gather. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers tips for safe activity on the water.
- If you are not present, be sure that your children take a friend along for security and extra fun.
- Children and adults alike should swim in supervised areas only – where a lifeguard is present at all times.
- If you are headed out to the rivers, lakes, or beaches, wear a life jacket when kayaking, boating, water skiing or jet skiing.
The CDC also recommends keeping an eye on your limits. Take care not to engage in water activity if you or your children are feeling tired or have had too much sun.
Keep Ticks Away
While summertime brings our backyards into full bloom, it can also bring unwanted ticks, which pose health dangers such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Fever. The CDC recommends simple landscaping tips to help deter tick activity: mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked; clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns; and keep patios, decks, and playground equipment away from yard edges and trees, and place them in sunny locations.