With the kids out of school and long days with warm weather, summer is filled with a multitude of family-friendly activities outside. However, with hot summer days comes the risk of sunburn, dehydration, and other common effects of the heat.

Here’s a quick overview of proper sun protection and care: 

How to Stay Hydrated 

When you’re aiming to stay hydrated throughout your fun summer days, you should first consider if you’re drinking enough water on a regular daily basis.

Did you know that on average, scientists and health professionals say that adults should be drinking eight 8-ounce glasses each day? A simple way to remember this is the 8×8 rule

As for kids, NPR & WIC recommend 5 glasses for 5 to 8-year-olds, 7 glasses for 9 to 12-year-olds, and 8 to 10 glasses for 13+ years. For adults, you should aim to drink half your body weight in water.

To summarize, during a hot day outside, you and your family should be aiming to drink more than the recommended amount due to the extra water your body loses through sweat in the heat. 

If you can increase the amount of water you drink on a hot day by a few glasses, you are able to compensate for what you lose. 

That being said, as with green vegetables, it’s not easy to get kids to drink more water, especially when they have to pause activities to do so. 

How to Get Kids to Drink More Water 

Sometimes the logical reason for pausing playtime to drink more water won’t work with your kids and some more innovative tactics are needed. Here are some great tips for encouraging your kids to drink more water in the summer: 

  • Order a fun, summer cup featuring your child’s favorite cartoon character — the more insulated the better
  • Designate the first five minutes of every hour to sit in the shade and drink a cup of water
  • Use cool ice molds
  • Infuse the water with your kids’ favorite fruits (i.e. oranges, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and pineapple)
  • Put a silly straw in the cup
  • Have a cup of juice or snack as a reward for drinking a certain amount of water
  • Be a water role model yourself

Symptoms of Dehydration

Despite your efforts, there might be a time where you or someone in your family gets a little bit dehydrated. If you are aware of the signs of dehydration, then you can quickly take the right steps to hydrate. 

Here are the main symptoms of dehydration: 

  • Feeling thirsty — this may sound obvious, but when you physically feel thirsty it is a clear sign that you are dehydrated
  • Feeling tired, faint or dizzy
  • Dark urine
  • Muscle cramps

If you follow the simple system of properly hydrating whenever you begin to feel thirsty, then you will ensure that you do not become dehydrated.

In the instance where you or your kids faint or feel extremely sick, immediately visit your local ER Near Me or call 911. 

How to Protect Your Skin From the Sun 

We all need a healthy dose of vitamin D, but too much sun can cause adverse effects. 

Scientists emphasize to be cautious when tanning or getting long term sun exposure. 

Repeated burning of the skin can increase the possibility of various forms of skin cancer, tanning is harmful because your skin doesn’t begin to tan until dangerous UV rays have penetrated and impacted your skin. 

With that in mind, it’s important to take certain steps to protect the skin of you and your family as you enjoy the summer sun. 

What Sunscreen to Use

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on a daily basis — this is with a normal amount of sun exposure. 

In fact, many people do not apply enough sunscreen coverage to even reach the SPF amount that is on the label which is why we recommend to always put on more than you think you need. 

For hot days under the sun, you should be using sunscreen with SPF 50 and be re-applying it every two hours. As well, if you get wet, you should re-apply once you are out of the water. While there is water-resistant sunscreen, water-proof sunscreen does not exist. 

Ingredients to Avoid in Sunscreen

Whether you’re worried about allergies or skin sensitivities, here are to top ingredients to avoid in sunscreen: 

  • Tinosorb S and M
  • Mexoryl SX
  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Avobenzone
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Zinc oxide
  • PABA and trolamine salicylate PABA

Sun-Protective Clothing

The next step to protecting your skin in the summer is by wearing sun-protective clothing and actively using sun-protective gear. 

For clothing, it’s usually too hot to wear a long-sleeved shirt in the summer, so the areas you should aim to cover are the tops of your shoulders and your chest. 

When it comes to a fun pool day, don’t be afraid to stick a t-shirt over your kids’ bathing suits, it will protect their bare skin in ways sunscreen alone can’t. 

Hats and sunglasses are an easy way to protect your scalp and your face from the sun. For hats, the wider the brim, the more sun protection you will enjoy. 

Be Sun Safe

When it comes to staying hydrated and protected from the harmful impacts of the sun on your body, you can never do too much. 

While your kids might not think you’re “un-cool” for a little while, your families’ body and skin health are extremely important to pay attention to throughout the summer when the sun is in the sky the longest and the closest to the Earth’s surface.
If you or your family suffer from dehydration or sun sickness visit your local ER Near Me.

ER Near Me June Offer Summer Safety Tips