5 Tips to Make This Your Safest Summer Ever

I love to have fun in the sun just as much as anyone. But don't let the warmth or the longer days fool ya! Whether you're out hiking, at the ballpark, or just trying to beat the heat, here are a few tips to keep in mind so you have a safe and healthy summer.

1. Let go of the "healthy glow" myth.

I hate to dash your suntan dreams, but the truth is that tanned skin is damaged skin. So cover up, wear sunglasses, seek shade, and lather on the sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen that's at least SPF 15 and that offers broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Don't forget to reapply often — one application does not protect you all day.

2. Fight the bite!

Ward off ticks and mosquitoes this summer by wearing bug spray (one with DEET). This tip is personally important to me, because I know what it's like to live with a tick-borne illness. Of course, not everyone who gets a tick bite will get Lyme disease, but you should still take steps to protect yourself and your family. Once you're done with your outdoor activities, take a shower or bath, check for ticks, and wash your clothes in hot water.

3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

One of the best ways to beat the heat this summer is to stay cool and hydrated by drinking more water! Try avoiding drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or carbonation. And to take your water from blah to aah! try adding fruits. I like limes and raspberries in mine!

4. Gear up.

Summer is a great time to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities. If you're swimming or boating, make sure children are always supervised, and don't forget to outfit the family in properly fitting life jackets. Prevent head injuries while you're biking by wearing a helmet that fits snugly. Remember to wear reflective clothing if you're riding in the early morning or evening.

5. Get your grill on — safely.

Who doesn't love a good barbeque? Whether it's a casual family dinner or a full-blown cookout, remember to keep food safety in mind. Chill meat, poultry, and seafood and keep them separate from other foods before cooking. When it's time to light up the grill, gently clean the grill surface with a damp cloth or paper towel and check for loose bristles if you use a bristle brush. Use a food thermometer when you're cooking to make sure that your food is hot enough to kill harmful germs. And of course, promptly refrigerate the leftovers!

Summer is about enjoying yourself and the people around you. By taking steps to stay safe, you can focus on having fun and making memories that'll last a lifetime.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health does not endorse any website, commercial industry, or product advertised in the graphics in this blog post.