Steer Clear of These 4 Summer Bummers

Summer: Time to kick back and let your hair down! But beware of summer bummers that can ruin the season and leave you wishing for winter. Take a look at a few common summer saboteurs:

Sunburn
Avoid the painful burning sensation (and subsequent damage to your skin) of a sunburn by generously applying—and reapplying—sunblock throughout the day. Go ahead and lay it on thick; your skin should be covered in white when applying. Don’t worry, it will absorb in a few minutes. You need an ounce (a shot glass) to cover your whole body. Aim for a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, apply 15 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Mosquitoes
Swollen, itchy bumps aren’t the only problem these little buggers cause—mosquitoes can also carry West Nile Virus and other conditions. To keep these bugs at bay, use an insect repellant that contains one of three active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (check product information for use of these products on children). Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs can also reduce the risk of being bitten. And to prevent mosquitoes from breeding around your house, get rid of any standing water, in bird baths, gutters, children’s pools and so on.

Ticks
These tiny bugs, which can transmit Lyme disease, are most active in the warmer summer months. To protect yourself against tick bites, steer clear of wooded areas or spots with high grass, wear long sleeves and long pants (you can also spray clothes with a product containing permethrin) and spray an insect repellant containing DEET on exposed skin. Make sure to shower or bathe after being outdoors in areas where you may have been exposed to ticks and do a full body check. Click here to learn more about ticks.

Heat
The hot, humid weather might feel good after the long, cold winter, but it can cause a number of problems, including dehydration and heat stroke. Not to mention, it can make exercising outdoors tough. If you’re going to be outside, particularly if you’re working out, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If you can, schedule your workouts during the cooler parts of the day—early morning or later in the evening. Also, be aware of signs of dehydration (thirst, less frequent urination and dizziness) and heat stroke (headache, dizziness, fatigue and confusion). For more information on heat stroke and dehydration, click here.