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Summer Safety As Important As Summer Fun: Manage Your Summertime Allergies

Friday, June 24, 2011

To make sure your day at the beach is exactly that – a day at the beach, not a trip to the emergency room – you’ll need to be aware of common summer bummers such as heat-related illnesses.Prolonged or intense exposure in hot temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion occurs when the body loses large amounts of water and salt. As in heat exhaustion, heat cramps can strike when the body loses excessive amounts of fluids and salt, and is accompanied by the loss of other essential nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. The most serious of the heat-related illnesses, heat stroke, occurs when the body suffers from long, intense exposure to heat and loses the ability to cool down itself. By reducing excessive exposure to high temperatures and taking other precautionary steps, most heat-related illnesses can be avoided. Prevention is your best defense in protecting your health when temperatures are extremely high. Remember to keep cool and use common sense. Below are some important prevention tips to follow:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of your activity level – don’t wait until you feel thirsty and don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar — these actually cause you to lose more body fluids.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully – plan your activities during morning or evening hours rather than during the sun’s peak times. Also, try to find as much shade as you can and rest often.
  • Pace yourself – if you’re not accustomed to being in heat, don’t push your body to stay out in it all day.

Although anyone can suffer from heat-related illnesses, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who have a mental illness
  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Learn to build safe sun habits into your family’s daily routine. Lead by example – children will respond better when they see you protecting your skin. For example, use the American Cancer Society’s Slip! Slop! Slap® safe sun basics to begin teaching your kids healthy sun habits. Remind them to:

  • Slip! on a shirt – always wear protective clothing when out in the sun.
  • Slop! on the sunscreen – use one with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Slap! on a hat – that shades your face, neck, and ears.

Just a few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life, so help your children stay safe in the sun by protecting their skin.

For more information regarding this Wellness Briefing, contact Kevin Herman, Director of Worksite Wellness, Horton Benefit Solutions, The Horton Group, at 708.845.3179 or via e-mail at

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.