Tips to Protect Your Family While Outdoors This Summer

With the school year ending and winter in the past, many families find themselves spending a lot more time outside. With the great outdoors comes sprinklers, camping, playgrounds, and of course the summer heat. Here are 7 good tips to help protect your loved ones this year while you make the best of those long summer days.

  1. Always wear sunscreen. Make sure that the one you put on your family offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection, is AT LEAST SPF 30, and is PABA FREE. Even if you aren’t swimming, waterproof versions are suggested, as your kiddos are likely to get all sweaty playing outside. Hypoallergenic and fragrance free versions are highly suggested, especially if your child has sensitive skin.
  2. Wear lip balm with sun protection too! Your lips can get burned just as easy as the rest of you.
  3. Choose wraparound sunglasses and put them on as soon as you leave the house. The best ones will block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Going on the water? Opt for polarized! Radiation from the sun can cause everything from cataracts to macular degeneration. Eeek! Check out our post Eldercare Series: The Most Common Elder Eye Problems for more info on cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyes.
  4. Prevent mosquito bites and ticks with bug spray, but pay close attention to the amount of DEET. You want to look for one with the lowest amount, typically 10%, which is effective for two hours. A spray with 30% DEET is effective for five hours. If yours has a higher percentage, you won’t want to apply it more than once per day.
  5. Stay hydrated! Think water, water, water, especially for elders and kids. The elderly and the young are affected much more by the sun’s rays and warm temperatures, and can easily get dehydrated or suffer from heat stroke. Keep everyone hydrated by purchasing each family member his or her own water bottle. Fill them up before you leave, and encourage them to stop for water breaks often. Remember, on a normal day, eight glasses of water is suggested. If you’re playing outside and working up a sweat, you’re going to need to drink way more, enough to replace the fluids you lost.
  6. Dress in light colours. They reflect the sun’s heat. Dark colors soak up the heat and make you even hotter.
  7. Never, EVER, leave a child or elder alone in a car. Not for 5 minutes, not for one minute, not for two seconds. Even with the windows down, your vehicle acts like a greenhouse and gets HOT in a flash. Plus, it’s against the law to leave kiddos alone in the care for ANY length of time. Always put safety first!

Do you have any tips we missed for keeping your family safe this summer? If so, or you’d just like to share your thoughts, be sure to leave a comment below. We LOVE comments, and yours could help others!

Photo courtesy of Vastateparksstaff on Flickr.

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