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Senior Summer Safety
When thinking about summer, you may think about vacations, fun and relaxation. What you might forget is summer also brings extreme temperatures and harmful UV rays. Seniors are especially prone to problems such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stress that comes along with the warmer temperatures. However, knowing a few safety tips can mean the difference of having a fun and relaxing summer versus a summer of recovery from a heat illness, therefore missing all the great things summer has to offer.
One of the most important tips is to be sure you are drinking plenty of fluids that contain salt and potassium to replace the water you lose while you sweat. Whether you plan to go on a road trip or just a walk around the neighborhood, bring plenty of water and drink often. The older you get, the less the body is able to conserve water.
Make sure to dress appropriately for the summer heat. Dressing for the heat can help keep your body temperature down. Wearing dark colors and tight clothing can trap body heat. Be sure to wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothes. Most people prefer to wear natural fabrics like cotton during summer instead of synthetic fibers.
Remember to check your medications. Certain medications can affect how you feel during hot temperatures. Some medications are even less effective if they are not stored at the correct temperature. Check with your doctor about the medications you’re taking and know how temperature affects them.
Are you aware that seniors need extra sun protection to stay healthy? Before going outside to garden or exercise, be sure to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas. You should also wear a hat to help cover the more sensitive areas of the body like your face.
Try to stay cool and avoid the outdoor heat and sun during peak hours. You can still enjoy a great day out by going to the mall, seeing a movie or going out to eat. Avoiding peak summer hours will help you stay cool and more safe.
Exercise is still important in the summer, but do it safely. Exercise in the morning or evening hours when it is cooler. When exercising, be sure to wear proper clothing and protective gear. Bring plenty of water to drink and don’t stay out for long periods of time.
It’s always important to know who to call in case of an emergency. Prepare a list of phone numbers for immediate contact. Make sure this list is easily accessible in your home. Knowing who to call can make all the difference in an emergency.
Lastly, keep in mind that it’s important to stay in touch with family and friends, especially during extremely hot summer months. Telling others about what you are doing that day can let them know you are safe.
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