It’s that time of year again – summer is finally here! For the next few months, you can enjoy the great outdoors and warmer weather with friends and family.

Whether your summer activity of choice is tending to your garden, relaxing by the pool or on a beach, or having a picnic in the park with loved ones, it is always important to practice summer safety habits.

With senior living communities across Alabama, Community Senior Life is all too familiar with the heat that summer can bring. This is why we are sharing our top summer safety tips to help you and your family make the most out of this time of year.

1. Hydration is Key

Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water, making staying hydrated crucial to health and wellness. As a major component of most body parts, water helps the body function properly and regulate body temperatures.

However, as we age, our ability to conserve water decreases as well as our feeling of thirst, increasing the risk of dehydration, especially during the warmer summer months.

In addition to drinking the recommended eight cups of water each day, use your food to help you stay hydrated. Foods with high water content can help you stay hydrated without having to drink endless amounts of water. Stay hydrated by remembering to pack extra water and bring it with you during your summer adventures.

2. Protect Your Skin

It’s not fun to come inside after a long day in the sun to find that your skin is hot and red. Not only is this damaging to your skin in the long run, but being sunburnt is painful and uncomfortable.

An essential summer safety tip is to wear sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun. Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with at least 30 SPF or higher. Look for a water-resistant formula to protect you even if you are sweating or in the water.

Many people apply sunscreen once before they go outside but then forget to reapply. If you are spending a significant time outdoors, remember to reapply sunscreen, especially after getting out of the pool or water.

To learn more about protecting your skin from the sun, read our blog, “Senior Skin Care: Tips for Implementing Sun Safety.”

3. Dress for the Occasion

Just like you wouldn’t go skiing in a bathing suit, you wouldn’t wear a heavy coat to the beach in the summer. While this summer safety tip may seem obvious, it is still important to talk about. You may even be surprised to learn that the colors you wear have an impact on your temperature.

To help keep you cool in the summer heat, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that is light in color. Light-colored clothes reflect the sunlight instead of absorbing the heat like black or darker colors. Additionally, put on a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and vision.

4. Be Aware of Heatstroke

Caused from prolonged exposure to high temperatures, heatstroke “occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).”

This dangerous condition does have warning signs, so if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Signs of heatstroke include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Lack of sweating, despite the heat
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Flushed, dry skin

While you have fun in the sun, we encourage you to stay safe by taking the necessary precautions to regulate your body’s temperature and protect your skin.

For more safety tips or to learn more about our senior living communities in Alabama, contact a member of the Community Senior Life team.