Now that summer is upon us we will more than likely be spending more time outside, possibly going on holiday and doing as much as we can to soak up the rays. Although the only thing you and your family will want to do is get out in the open as much as possible, it’s important to remember to stay safe during the long summer days.
Beat the heat
While many of us love to enjoy the few days of sun we get each year, it is important to remember we may not be used to the heat, so we have to take extra precautions. Extreme heat can force the body into overdrive as we try to cool ourselves down, and young children and the elderly must be protected as they will be more susceptible to problems.
Follow these top tips for you and your families on hot days in the UK, or if you are jetting off on your holidays:
- Stay in the shade when the sun is strongest: During the UK summer, the sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm, so try and find some shade to relax in during these hours
- Dress for the sun- as tempting as it might be to get the best tan, its important to dress yourself and your children for the summer weather. A hat, t-shirt and sunglasses will help you protect your skin when you are out of the shade.
- Use sunscreen: Cancer Research UK recommends that you use a sunscreen of at least factor 15 with a high star rating. Always make sure this is reapplied every few hours and if you go for a swim.
- Don’t ignore the signs of sun stroke- Don’t ignore symptoms of dehydration or overheating such as muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, weakness, or vomiting. If you experience any of these try and get out of the sun and drink lots of water. If the symptoms persist, call your GP or NHS 111 for advice.
There is nothing better than a dip in the pool, river or sea to cool off in the hot summer months, but sometimes we can forget how dangerous open water can be.
The Royal Life Saving Society gives this advice to staying safe in the water this summer:
- Swim at site with a fully trained life guard
- Swim parallel with the shore, where you can quickly get to safety
- Swim with friends or family, so that you can help each other if you need to
- Look for signs and advice about the specific dangers at the place where you are swimming
- Plan what you will do if something goes wrong
- Swim at unsupervised on sites without a life guard present
- Jump straight into the water until you have acclimatised to the water temperature
- Jump into the water from extreme heights
- Swim into deep water as this will be colder than shallow water and your body won’t have acclimatised
If your children don’t have swimming lessons make sure they never go into the water alone. Don’t rely on lifeguards to watch your children in the water, and never leave your children unattended by water.
So remember while you are having fun in the sun, protect your skin, be attentive when cooling off in water and make sure children and the elderly are protected. A few precautions can ensure that you have a fun summer without any problems!