Whether you are heading to the beach, relaxing by the pool, or taking the kids on vacation this summer, be careful when out and about in hot weather. If you are going to be outside this summer, it is important to remember to keep yourself and your family cool, hydrated, and ultimately safe. Here are some ways to stay safe in the summer sun.


Apply (and reapply) Sunscreen

Protecting our skin from sunburn is one of the most important ways to stay safe in the sun. Having a sunburn makes it difficult for our bodies to adequately cool the affected area, which can increase the risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When you first wake up in the morning, be sure to apply sunscreen before heading out to enjoy your day. Cover all exposed areas of your body with a decent amount of sunscreen, and remember to get the back of your neck, behind your ears, and the back of the legs and arms.

If you are going to stay out in the sun for a long period of time, reapply your sunscreen every two hours, and use SPF 30 or higher. By reapplying sunscreen and using SPF 30 or higher, your risk of getting a sunburn is greatly reduced.

Drink Water Regularly

It can become very easy to forget to drink water when you are enjoying a day out with family or friends. Sometimes you may even ignore our body’s thirst and continue playing. Dehydration can lead to deadly complications, such as nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, cerebral edema (swelling of the brain), seizures, and kidney failure. By drinking water, you not only protect yourself from dehydration and its potential complications, you also keep your body from overheating.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing proper clothes on a hot summer day is one of the best ways to stay cool. Wearing lightweight, breathable materials, such as linen, as opposed to a heavier material that don’t breathe much, such as denim, can keep a lot of heat off of your body. Lighter colors can also help you stay cool, since darker colors absorb more heat and keep it trapped longer. Wearing a light colored, wide-brimmed hat can keep the heat off of your head, and wearing polarized sunglasses can help protect your eyes. Children don’t often like wearing these but if you let them choose their own sunglasses and hat they might be more likely to wear them. Crocs and flip flops are great for keeping children’s feet cool

Take Breaks

If you start to feel too hot or tired, then stop. As pushing yourself only increases your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is better to stop for a while in the shade or indoors, drink some water, eat a snack, and even reapply sunscreen if necessary. Regular breaks in the shade will keep everyone happy, safe, and cool.

Avoid the Sun Midday

During the middle of the day, the sun is at its hottest and at its brightest. During this time, it is best to do something indoors for a while. If the sun cannot be avoided, then take breaks regularly, stay in the shade, reapply sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.

By following these tips, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting ill in the sun. When it gets hot outside, it is very important to remember to wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, dress appropriately, take regular breaks, and, if possible, avoid the sun in the middle of the day.