Staying Healthy While Outdoors
The weather is warmer, flowers have bloomed, and the leaves have finally returned to their trees. Winter is gone, and this year, we’re ready for summer more than ever before.
Many of us have been experiencing what has been dubbed “Quarantine Fatigue”, leading to more people going out to their local parks, taking up cycling, and spending more time outdoors overall. While we applaud the desire to be closer to nature, we want to remind you to avoid health issues by protecting yourself while outside.
Skin protection: You hear it every year, we’re sure, but we can’t stress it enough. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States afterall. So, be sure to protect your skin from the sun using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 15 SPF and reapply if you plan on being outside all day. Try to avoid regularly being in the rays during peak hours, typically between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when UV light is harshest.
Heat-related illnesses: According to the CDC, more than 600 people in the U.S. are killed by extreme heat every year. Heat stress can also result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat rashes along with damage to the brain and other vital organs. Factors that may increase heat-related illnesses include but are not limited to sunburn, alcohol use, heart disease, obesity, and high levels of humidity. To prevent this, drink plenty of water, avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks in the humid weather, pace yourself, and find a cool environment.
Beware of bugs: We’re not the only ones who love the warmer weather; ticks and mosquitos do too and pose some of the biggest health risks. Always check yourself for ticks when coming in from the outdoors and wear higher wool socks when hiking. Along with using a DEET or a pharmacy-recommended spray, have an outdoor repellent such as plants or candles to keep mosquitos away. Protect your pets when outside by having them on a flea and tick control medication. And if you do get bit by a tick, don’t panic; keep an eye on the bite and contact your healthcare provider if you develop a rash, fever, aches, or the like.
Children safety: Be sure to supervise kids at all times when they are near or in water as drownings are the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the CDC. Also, never leave your child in the hot car, even if the windows. are cracked open and you only plan on quickly stopping into a building. Additionally, if you have a sandbox at home, always cover it when not in use to avoid it gathering animal droppings among other foreign materials. Here are 12 additional tips you can follow to keep your sandbox safe and sanitary.
We hope you'll keep these tips in mind as you begin to plan your outdoor activities. And be sure to ask us about products we carry that will keep you safe and healthy outdoors!