Key Tips on Heat and Sun Safety this Summer By: Dr. Victoria Guerra Farley

Fun in the Sun

Southern Nevada’s triple-digit temperatures have returned this summer, and with them a wide range of health risks. The intense temperatures and sunshine can pose many risks to people’s safety and overall wellness, but there is no reason people can’t still enjoy the outdoors. With the proper precautions recommended by HealthCare Partners Nevada, individuals and families can remain safe and healthy throughout their summertime activities.

Key tips on heat and sun safety include:

Remain hydrated:

When temperatures are high, it is very easy to become dehydrated when people don’t drink enough fluids to replace what is lost when they sweat. Dehydration can cause headaches, weakness, confusion and even unconsciousness, according to the Mayo Clinic. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly, even when you are not thirsty.

Protect Against Sun Exposure:

Spending time outdoors without skin protection can be highly dangerous, as most skin cancers are a direct result of exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, according to the American Cancer Society. To avoid this, HealthCare Partners Nevada recommends regularly applying products with sun protection factor (SPF) values of 30 or higher. Although higher SPF values do filter out more UV rays, no sunscreen protects the skin completely.  This is why it is also important to take additional steps to guard against the sun, including wearing a hat, UV-blocking sunglasses and clothing with SPF embedded, if possible.

Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses:

The body’s temperature can reach dangerous levels during extremely hot weather. Typically, your body cools itself by sweating. When you are exposed to too much heat, however, sweating is just not enough, and heat illnesses such as heat rash, heat exhaustion and even life-threatening heat stroke can occur. Monitor for common signs of heat-related illness, including red, dry skin, excessive sweating, nausea and a fast heartbeat. Stay safe by remaining in the shade whenever possible and hydrating often.

Limit Outdoor Activities:

Limit engaging in strenuous outdoor activities during hot days to avoid heat-related illnesses. Try to avoid going outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the time of day when it is hottest and UV rays are most intense, according to the American Cancer Society3. Schedule activities such as running, biking and lawn work early in the morning or later in the afternoon when temperatures are cooler.

Use Caution with Swimming:

Swimming and water sports are especially enjoyable in the summertime. Experiencing these activities with a partner makes them safer and even more fun. Always remember to supervise children whenever they are in the water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger[2]. Being alert around water is extremely important, but the most vital precaution is learning to swim.

There’s plenty of fun to be had this season. Just remember these simple tips from your providers at HealthCare Partners Nevada to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer.