Fun in the Sun
Use these tips to ensure your summer is filled with FUN and not sunburn, dehydration and nasty bug bites.
By Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN, TJS School Nurse
As summer approaches, most of us spend more time outside. Biking, boating, swimming, playing, attending sporting events and grilling are activities that scream "Summer fun!" However, if you're not careful, you can run into excessive sun exposure, dehydration or insect bites – all of which are anything but fun.
Avoid Painful Sunburns
Here are the ABCs of preventing sunburn:
- Avoid the sun's most harmful rays. Overexposure to the sun usually occurs between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Try to plan activities around these times of intense sun exposure. Scheduling outdoor fun during mornings and evenings will help protect your skin.
- Block the sun's rays by using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside to protect your skin the whole time you're outdoors. Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- Cover up by wearing protective clothing, including accessories like sunglasses and hats. Fabrics with a tight weave help limit sun exposure.
Helpful Hints on H2O
Approximately two-thirds of our bodies are water. Without enough water, our bodies cannot function properly.
Here are some tips to help you detect whether you and your child are getting enough water:
- By the time a child expresses thirst, they are already approximately 3% dehydrated.
- One adult gulp is approximately one ounce, and for children, two gulps is approximately one ounce. Children under the age of eight should drink their age in cups. For example, a seven-year-old child should drink seven (8 oz) glasses a day. For children nine and older, the recommendation is equivalent to eight to 10 glasses daily.
- When participating in physical activity or spending extended amounts of time in the sun, be sure to hydrate 30 minutes before you start and refresh every 20 minutes.
Keep Bugs at Bay
We all know mosquitos, ticks and flies can spread disease. The only way to prevent the spread of disease is to protect yourself.
The CDC recommends using an EPA-approved bug repellent that contains at least 20% DEET (diethyltoluamide). There are repellents without DEET, but they do not protect against mosquitos, ticks and flies. Products with higher DEET concentrations tend to last longer.
Aside from repellent, how can you keep bugs at bay?
- Cover as much skin as possible.
- Apply sunscreen before bug spray. Wait for sunscreen to dry before spraying the repellent.
- Try to avoid areas with large infestations of bugs, like standing water.
Have a great summer!
This blog was originally shared in Nurse's Notes, a monthly newsletter by Nurse Rachel Crockford, BSN, RN.
About the Author
Rachel is a registered nurse who earned her Bachelor of Science from Drexel University in Pennsylvania. She extensive nursing experience in pediatric care, and previously worked at an elementary school in Virginia Beach. Rachel's family moved here from the east coast, and her husband is pursuing his MBA at Rice University. She has two children, Duke and Colt.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Drexel University
Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science