With summer’s incredible array of foods, activities, and fun, you’ll probably be out and about more. You don’t have to worry about icy roads, but there are plenty of other potential mishaps that are summer related. Here’s how to protect yourself from a few preventable warm-weather hazards.
Drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated either at work or at the beach. Even being slightly dehydrated can make you feel sluggish. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and just keep sipping on it.
Notice if you or anyone you are with begins to feel overheated at any time. Get to a cooler spot and sip on fluids. Heatstroke can come on quickly and is dangerous. If you’ll be at an outdoor event, carry some frozen wet washcloths in your cooler. Instant cold packs (the kind for sports injuries) do well in a pinch, too.
2. Watch the Weather
Keep your eye on the weather—especially if you live in areas prone to severe events or storms. Summer brings some pretty wild weather and you want to be prepared.
3. Be Cautious Around Water
It can’t be said enough, be alert when you are around water. Don’t swim alone, and if you’re at the beach, pool, or lake with kids, designate someone to keep an eye on them at all times. You can’t assume each parent is going to be watching and kids get into trouble quickly in the water.
Be careful with adults, too –pay attention to red flags indicating rough water or even shark sightings. And if anyone has been drinking, remember their judgment and their reactions could be impaired enough to cause problems while swimming.
4. Make Food Safety a Priority
Summer barbeques are often the highlight of these warm months. But the heat can spoil food quickly and the resulting illness is pretty awful. If you’re hosting a gathering, make sure all the food is cold. Keep anything that can spoil quickly (meats, anything mayonnaise based, dairy products) refrigerated until you need them.
When you put food out, keep it out of direct sun –you can even put your bowls of potato salad on ice to keep things cooler. When you attend an event, pay attention to how the food is taken care of. Don’t eat anything you suspect has been out too long.
5. Keep Insects at Bay
Watch for all the critters that can cause you misery over the summer. Mosquitoes, ticks, ants, bees, jellyfish—no matter what gets you, it can hurt and cause lasting ill-effects.
Protect yourself so you can be outside and not get waylaid by bugs and critters. Wear long pants and long sleeves when possible and when it’s too hot for that, wear bug repellant and reapply it every couple of hours. Keep sugary drinks covered (bees have been known to sneak into soda cans) and scan picnic sites for ant holes or mounds. Make sure you know if the water you’re in has jellyfish or any biting fish.
6. Don’t Forget Your Car
Keeping your car prepared for summer is just as important as keeping it ready for cold conditions. Make sure your tires are inflated correctly, your oil is changed, and you have plenty of coolant. And if you’re in the habit of running on fumes, keep an eye on your gas tank. One hours-long traffic jam to a concert or on the way home from the beach could leave you stranded on the side of the road and miserable. Be smart and prepare yourself.
7. Use Sunscreen
You know the drill. Use sunscreen every day and reapply it often. Use enough lotion to fill a shot glass and put that on every two hours. If you use a sunscreen spray, spray enough on so you can rub it in to cover all the areas. This can’t be said often enough, but lots of people just don’t bother. In the long run, sunscreen can prevent skin cancer, but it also helps you avoid the immediate misery of a painful sunburn.
With summer comes lots of daylight, a little more time to enjoy the outdoors, and hopefully, some vacation time. Whether you’re spending two weeks away from work or trying to cobble together two days off in a row this summer, use this fleeting season to take care of you.
1.Enjoy the Harvest
Summer’s plentiful fruits and vegetables make eating healthier a breeze. Do your best to get a colorful array of produce into your diet, but don’t obsess over how much you’re getting. Look at your total intake over a week, not a couple of days. All those salads, bowls of watermelon, and stir fry dinners really add up. Even fresh strawberry shortcake holds promise!
2. Take in the Sun (Carefully)
Leaving winter’s darkness behind is a relief and all that extra daylight is a bonus for anyone who likes to be outside. But with more time in the sunshine comes a real need to be careful about getting too much sun. Even if you aren’t spending days at the beach, being out in the stronger sun while you’re running errands, driving on long road trips (or even to work), and just barbeque hopping can all add hours of unexpected exposure.
You might not even realize how much skin-damaging sun you’re getting. To be safe, put on a coat of sunscreen every morning. Don’t worry about smelling like a tropical island or being sticky with lotion—there are lots of regular body lotions with a built in sunscreen that won’t make you smell like coconuts.
3. Get Some Rest
The lazy days of summer can be a myth. There are lots of places to go, parties to attend, and friends and family stopping by. With all that activity, it might seem like you get less and less sleep during the summer months. Even if you’re staying up late for fun or getting up early to exercise with the sunrise, keep track of how your body feels. Nurses work hard and you need to get adequate rest to be your best at work and to feel good on your own time, too.
Eight hours of sleep might not be possible—no one will dispute that. So if you can’t get enough sleep every night, take advantage of down time to rest when you can. A 15-minute break to read, listen to music, or just close your eyes can do wonders for your health and your mood.
4. Get Out There
Summer brings more people into your life. You might meet new neighbors at a block party or new coworkers at a work event. Standing in an endless line for a rollercoaster gives you lots of time to chat with someone nearby, and so does a crowded beach.
Take the time to notice the people around you. Everyone has a story and learning about others is a great way to gain a new perspective on your life. You never know how one interesting encounter can lead to a new career opportunity, a new hobby, or a new turn in your path.
5. Move More
You don’t have to run your first marathon, but moving more in the summer just feels good. A new and ambitious exercise plan is ideal, but not many people can or are willing to stick with that. Just get out and stroll your downtown. Walk the dog in a new place. Stretch in the morning and at night. Lift a few weights while catching up on all those movies you’ve missed. Rollerblade or roller skate with the kids. Shoot some hoops in the driveway or at the local park. Swim. Just move a little more than you normally do.
6. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s much easier to live with what feels comfortable to you, but summer is a great time to try something new. Go to a concert that’s nothing like your regular playlist. Read a new genre or try reading different blogs. Learn enough of a new language to get by if you travel. Sign up for a class to get a new certification and connect with other nurses. Go to a seminar about one of your hobbies and talk to new people. Paint a room in your house a new color.
Part of making great summer memories is the things you do that give you unexpected joy.
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