6 safety tips for a day in the sun

by | Jul 1, 2023 | Health and Wellness

A day at the beach, the pool or on the dock is a great way to enjoy some fun in the sun. But when you’re out in the sunshine all day, heat illnesses can come on quickly. They can be incredibly dangerous or even deadly. Fortunately, they are highly preventable with a few simple tips.

Watch the weather
Tune in to local forecasts or sign up to receive heat alerts on your phone so you know when to take extra care. If it’s available in your area, check the Air Quality Health Index since air pollution is often worse on very hot days. Just as you might plan your day out to avoid rainstorms, consider rescheduling during a heat alert too. You could change your plans to another day or a cooler part of it.

Pack some shade
Did you know that it can be about 5°C cooler under the shade of a tree compared to the surrounding area? It’s worth it to secure a spot in the shade for your next picnic and to bring a big umbrella or sunshade to the beach.

Dress appropriately
If the weather forecast is calling for a heat wave, you’re probably not reaching for jeans. But make sure you choose something loose-fitting, lightweight and breathable. This will keep your body cooler and let your sweat evaporate so you can feel less hot and sticky. Don’t forget your sunglasses and a wide-brimmed, breathable hat.

Load up on liquids
Feeling thirsty is not a good sign of how hydrated you are, especially in hot weather, so remember to drink water or other hydrating liquids before you feel thirsty. Pack a cooler with ice and reusable water bottles for your day out – a double-walled bottle will keep your beverage cooler for longer. Include some fruit and vegetables with high water content in your snack pack too, like watermelon or grapes.

Have a buddy
If you’re out with a group of friends or families – keep an eye on each other to make sure you’re handling the heat okay. You can also help each other remember to keep hydrated and reapply sunscreen. Watch for symptoms including dizziness, nausea, headache, or rapid breathing or heartbeat. Move to a cool place and drink water if you or your buddy have any of these symptoms during extreme heat.

Find more information at canada.ca/health

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