Don’t let summer injuries get between you and a good time -
Remember the good ol’ days, when all you had to worry about during the summer was whether to go swimming or play at the park? Now, it seems that summer is plagued with worry-inducing summer injuries that can potentially ruin your outlook. So, here are some summer injury prevention tips to help you make the most of these few, precious, sunny months.
- Time your tanning. Sure, playing outside all day can be a great way to spend the summer, but don’t forget about that big bright ball in the sky when you do. If your main goal is to soak up the sun, try to avoid doing so between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is the time when the sun is at its worst, and can cause the most damage to your skin – either from sunburn, or worse, skin cancer.
- Protect your skin. Using sunblock whenever you’re going to be outdoors is a good habit to get into. Use an SPF sunscreen of 15 or greater, and make sure it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and re-apply it every few hours and after swimming, even if it’s waterproof.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration is a common problem during the summer. The combination of dehydration and high temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. When outside in the hot weather, plan on drinking at least one cup of water every 30 minutes. Also, it’s good to avoid alcohol, caffeine and sweetened beverages, as they tend to dehydrate rather than rehydrate you.
- Keep burgers bacteria-free. We all love a good barbecue and picnic, but we don’t want the bacteria that can come with it. To keep your food safe, make sure all perishable items, like meat, dairy, or salads with mayonnaise in them are kept out of the sun and in a cooler on ice.
- Don’t let pests bug you. Finally, be sure to use insect repellant to protect you and your family from bug bites and the potential diseases they carry. Look for effective products (typically containing DEET) that are also safe for children, and be sure to wash off the repellant when you return indoors.
- Stretch out. Before engaging in a fun game of volleyball or a jog around the park, be sure to properly stretch your muscles. A good warm-up, even for a low-impact activity, can help prevent muscle pulls and other injuries.
- Protect yourself. Before you hop on that bike or lace up those rollerblades, be sure you have the proper protective gear. Helmets, wrist and elbow guards, and knee pads can all make a big difference if you happen to trip or fall. Put an extra layer of protection between your body and the pavement.