Jul 26, 2019 Stay Safe This Summer

Five tips to help you enjoy hot, sunny days.

Five Tips To Help You Enjoy Hot, Sunny Days

When temperatures spike, so do visits to Emergency Departments. To make the most of carefree summer days, William Dalsey, MD, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, recommends taking the following precautions:

1. Choose the best sunscreen.

Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher. “The higher the SPF, the better,” says Dr. Dalsey. “Make sure the product is broad spectrum, meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays.” Be sure to use enough of it—about one ounce (the amount that would fill a shot glass)—and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

2. Fill up on fluids.

To avoid becoming dehydrated on a sweltering day, women should drink about 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of water (from beverages and foods) each day, according to the Institute of Medicine. Men should drink about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of water daily. You can also try sports drinks, which can help replenish electrolytes, minerals that are lost due to sweating, says Dr. Dalsey. Avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea and colas.

3. Beware of hot vehicles.

Don’t leave children, pets or elderly people alone in a hot car. Even when temperatures outside are relatively cool, a car can heat up quickly. For instance, when the temperature outside is 73 degrees Fahrenheit, the car’s interior will reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit after just 25 minutes, according to the National Weather Service.

4. Watch out for rip currents.

Every year, more than 100 people die from rip currents, powerful currents of water moving away from the beach, according to the U.S. Lifesaving Association. Rip currents account for more than 80 percent of rescues performed by lifeguards. To stay safe, swim near a lifeguard. If you find yourself in a rip current and are struggling, yell or wave to get someone’s attention. Also, swim parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current.

5. Find a swim buddy.

About one-third of drowning deaths occur when a person is swimming alone, according to the Lifesaving Society. If you’re struggling in the water, a buddy can get help and potentially save your life.

Top warm weather health risks in the U.S. 

  • Sunburn – People who visit the ED annually: more than 33,000
  • Heatstroke – People who visit the ED annually: about 4,100
  • Drowning – People who die: about 10 every day

Learn more about Summer Safety