It’s safe to say summer is here. At least summer weather is here. The first official day of summer is June 21, but this past week, summer showed off with high temperatures, scorching sun and high humidity.
I experienced this first hand this weekend when I stupidly laid out on the beach at Lake Cumberland sans sunscreen and came home with a severe burn on my back and legs.
It got me thinking about how dangerous summer weather can really be, both short- and long-term. We all enjoy the sun and the warmth and I know I enjoy not having to wear layers of clothes. But there are precautions we need to take to protect ourselves and others.
I learned this weekend how important applying sunscreen can be. When I started looking up healing remedies for sunburns I learned that even one sunburn can drastically increase your risk of developing skin cancer. I read that doctors suggest applying a water-proof version of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen on any skin that will exposed to the sun.
Staying cool with fans or air conditioning is important and remaining hydrated is essential. If you’re working or playing outside, drink plenty of water and take a few breaks to recover. Heat exhaustion is another risk in the summer.
As for our pets, children and the elderly, we each need to take the initiative to help protect them from the dangerous sun and high temperatures.
The rules of sun protection applies to kids, older adults and our pets, too.
Make sure they remain hydrated and covered.
Never leave a kid or pet in a hot car in the summer. Temperatures inside a car can reach over a 100 degrees on a summer day. Some people leave the windows down in their cars, but I suggest not taking the risk as that doesn’t make a substantial difference in the temperatures.
Blacktop and concrete surfaces can also be dangerous for pets with sensitive padding on their paws.
Water from pools, lakes or creeks can reflect the suns rays and increase the risk of sunburn, and playground equipment can become hot enough to burn kids as they play.
I encourage you to be mindful of your elderly neighbors. Find the time to check in on them and make sure their homes are staying cool enough and they are getting enough water.
If they must be outside, encourage them to limit their time out in the hotter parts of the day. Suggest they go out earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
Most of all, I encourage you to enjoy the beauty of the season, but be smart about it. Or else, you may be paying the consequences like I am this week.