Hello, summer! The hot summer months are here and everyone is more likely to be outside for activities and events. Although it is enjoyable to participate in these outdoor activities, we must also remember to take necessary precautions for a safe, healthy summer! Follow these tips, as recommended by Federal Occupational Health, to ensure you are putting safety first.
Keep your skin and eyes protected. Moderate your exposure to heat and take necessary steps to avoid being outside for long periods of sun and heat. The peak hours for strongest UV rays are 10am to 4pm. While enjoying your time in the heat, be sure there is a cool, air-conditioned place for you to relax and cool down.
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day and consider snacking on water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Watch for these signs to determine if you may be experiencing dehydration: extreme thirst, dry mouth, headache, muscle cramping and lightheadedness.
Skin is our largest organ that acts to protect us against heat, sunlight, injury and illness or infection. For these reasons and more, it is critical to protect your skin from UV rays. Apply and re-apply appropriate sunscreen, avoid the burn, wear proper clothing, and relax in the shade when possible! It is best to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to sun exposure, and it should be reapplied every two hours when sweating or swimming.
UV rays can also be damaging to the eyes. According to the CDC, some of the more common sun-related vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium. To best protect your eyes from the sunlight, wear effective sunglasses with 99 or higher UV block and also consider wearing hats to keep your face and eyes shaded.
We tend to be exposed to louder levels of noise during outdoor activities in the summer. Whether it be lawn work, an outdoor concert, or neighborhood fireworks, it is important to make sure that you protect your hearing when exposed to loud levels of noise to avoid hearing loss and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). A good rule of thumb is to wear hearing protection if the activity that you are doing is loud enough that you must shout to speak to someone who is near you.
Federal Occupational Health. (2018). Fun and breezy summer safety tips. Retrieved June 29, 2018, from https://foh.psc.gov/calendar/sunsafety.html.