Summer Safety 101

Bear Lake winters can be long and hard.  The excitement of spring and summer brings with it a desire to get out of the house and be more active.  By following a few main safety tips, summer can be an enjoyable, safe time.

Stay Hydrated.

The standard recommendation is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.  If you spend a fair amount of time in the sun, you may want to drink even more to avoid dehydration.  Don’t just depend on your body to tell you when you’re thirsty because as you age, you become less aware of your thirst.  Be proactive in staying hydrated. Sodas, coffee, and especially alcohol won’t work as good alternatives for hydration.  Water, sports drinks, and juice are the best.

Don’t Stay Out for Too Long.

If you are in extreme heat, you should keep your plans for outdoor activities reasonably short. Do not spend all day in the sun. After a couple of hours, plan to take a break.  You don’t always feel the effects of the sun in the exact moment, but it can build to something dangerous if you aren’t careful how much time you spend outside on hot days.

Keep Sunscreen Where It’s Readily Accessible So That You Will Remember to Use It.

If you carry a bag or purse, keep your sunscreen in it at all times.  If you don’t, stick your sunscreen in your care or anywhere else you can think of where you will be likely to have it when you need it.  You will need to reapply if you get wet,

sweat, or stay outdoors for a reasonable amount of time.

Check the Side Effects of Your Prescriptions.

Some medications make people more sensitive to the sun.  Make sure you know if your prescriptions mean you need to take extra precautions.  Some common prescriptions you will need to be aware of that can increase sun sensitivity are: Antibiotics such as Doxycycline, Tetracycline, and Ciprofloxacin; Antidepressants such as Doxepin and other tricyclics: Antihistamines; some blood pressure drugs such as Hydrochlorothiazide, Aldactazide, and Diltiazem; many cholesterol drugs, diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, and NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. (This is not a comprehensive list.  Check with your doctor about your medications.)

Use Air Conditioning If You Have It

Making sure you are comfortable in your home is worth the price of air conditioning. If you don’t have it, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may help if the cost is prohibitive.

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