4 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer
See you later, winter jackets – summer is finally here! Many of us have been anxiously waiting to read a good book by the pool or dip our toes into the warm sand. Our medical team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care is excited too!
While the summer sun can certainly relax us, there are health risks involved if we don’t properly plan for the heat. Below are four “cool” and practical tips that will keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy all summer long.
1. Stay hydrated
Hydration is your best bet for beating the heat this summer. One simple rule might help you avoid uncomfortable symptoms like fatigue or dizziness: “Don’t wait, hydrate!” If you wait until you feel thirsty, you are already on the road to dehydration. Stay ahead of it by drinking clear fluids consistently throughout the day.
You may wonder how much water you actually need. Every person requires a different level of hydration. Factors like your age, activity level and more impact how much water you need in a certain day.
If you’re like many members of our medical team, you probably love a refreshing iced coffee and other cold carbonated beverages, but remember that caffeine is a diuretic which means an excessive amount can affect how hydrated you are. We aren’t saying to skip it, but remember to offset the caffeine with clear fluids like water — or swap out that soda for a seltzer water!
Hydration is not just about what you drink! Yummy snacks, like watermelon and cucumbers, are a great way to supplement your water intake as well.
2. Wear your sunscreen and reapply multiple times throughout the day
You just got to the pool and can’t wait to jump right into the water. You know that applying sunscreen will only take a few extra minutes but you figure, what’s the worst that can happen if I don’t put on my sunscreen?
Not only are sunburns uncomfortable, but they increase risk of melanoma. In fact, having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for skin cancer.
The good news is that sunburns are preventable! Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 throughout the day to minimize the risk of such injuries. Every two hours or so, reapply sunscreen on yourself, especially if you are sweating, enjoying ocean waves or some time in the pool. Don’t be shy about reminding friends, children or others you are spending time with to reapply too — their skin will thank you!
While most sunburns will go away on their own, there may be a chance that a severe burn could blister or scar. If you have any concerns about a sunburn, come get it checked out at your local PhysicianOne Urgent Care location.
3. Limit the amount of time you spend in the sun
Have you ever felt exhausted after spending a whole day in the sun? This is your body’s way of letting you know that you might be overheated.
Prevent your body from overheating, which can result in possible heatstroke, by limiting the amount of time spent in the direct sun or hot weather, especially during the peak hours (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) when the sunshine is the strongest. If you exercise outdoors, try to get outside earlier in the day before the worst of the heat, or later when the sun goes down and the air cools.
Taking advantage of air-conditioned spaces is an easy way to protect yourself against heat-related illness. If you don’t have AC at home or need a change of scenery, visit local spots like your community library, a favorite ice cream shop, or a movie theater to cool off on hot days.
4. Check on your loved ones and know the signs of heat related illnesses
From our family at PhysicianOne Urgent Care to yours, we want to make sure everyone stays safe in the summer heat. Something as simple as a phone call or text to your loved ones, especially if they are more vulnerable in the summer months, can help detect early signs of overheating, dehydration or other heat-related illness.
- Those who are at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, people with chronic diseases or mental illness and pregnant women.
- Ask about water intake and how they are staying cool to determine if any assistance may be needed.
Some common symptoms to look out for include nausea, dizziness, headache, fainting, and hot or red skin. If you or someone else you know might be demonstrating any signs of heat related illnesses, do not wait. Our medical team can help while symptoms are still in their early stages.
From the comfort of your home via telehealth to an x-ray or consultation in one of our conveniently located centers, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here to help you spend less time sick or injured and more time enjoying the beautiful weather. We’ve got you – virtual visits are available 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays & 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends, or see our experienced, friendly providers in person.