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Tips for a Healthy Summer

A volleyball net on a beach during the summer months

Summer brings longer days and warmer weather, making it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities. However, it's essential to take steps to stay healthy and safe during the summer months. With school letting out for summer break, children have more free time, creating both opportunities and responsibilities for families. Here are some tips to help everyone make the most of the season while prioritizing health and safety.


A kayak on a lake exploring

SUN PROTECTION

Sunburn can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, over 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people annually in the United States. To protect yourself and your little ones from harmful UV rays:


  • Use Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

  • Seek Shade: Avoid direct sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest. Use shade from nearby trees or utilize a beach umbrella for extended outdoor time.

  • Wear Protective Clothing: Opt for long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses with UV protection. dri-fit UPF clothing can help keep children protected from UV, while the thin material keeps them cool.


PRO TIP: Use your favorite weather app to check UV Index levels before spending time in the sun.

A large water bottle with times on the outside to help track intake. Filled with orange slices

HYDRATION

Dehydration is a common issue during hot weather. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend a daily water intake of about 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, including fluids from all beverages and foods.


  • Drink Plenty of Water: Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day, more if you're active or outside in the heat. Consider a large water bottle to track your water intake throughout the day.

  • Eat Hydrating Foods: Include fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges. Not only are these hydrating, but they are also delicious snacks.

  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Consuming beverages with alcohol and caffeine (diuretics) may further dehydrate the body for some people.


A mountain bike on a trail in Tulsa

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Summer is an ideal time for children to explore the great outdoors and engage in a variety of physical activities that promote good health and well-being. However, outdoor activities need to remain safe.


  • Wear Appropriate Gear: Use helmets, knee pads, and other protective equipment for sports like cycling and skateboarding.

  • Stay Cool: Limit children's play times to the cooler parts of the day and take frequent breaks in the shade.

  • Be Aware of Heat-Related Illnesses: Conditions like heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be serious. Watch for symptoms such as heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, and nausea.


By following these tips, your family can enjoy all that summer has to offer while keeping everyone healthy and safe.



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