You can have fun in the sun – and the water – this summer while still taking steps to stay safe.
In the sun…
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you.
- Avoid hot, heavy meals, which add heat to your body.
- Don’t leave children or pets in cars, even if windows are open.
- Drink water before, during and after exercise.
- Keep children, pets and anyone in your care shaded and hydrated.
- Know the warning signs of heat stroke: headache; leg cramps; red, hot, dry skin; lightheadedness/dizziness; nausea.
- Know your limits during exercise; stop if you have trouble breathing.
- Limit outdoor activity to cooler times, such as morning and evening.
- Stay in the shade or in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible. A cool shower can help in a pinch.
- Stay informed about extreme heat alerts, and have a plan if you need to use a cooling shelter in your area.
- Wear light clothing, a hat and sunglasses.
- Wear sunscreen, and reapply often. Be aware that having a sunburn can dehydrate you and affects your body’s ability to cool down.
In the water…
- Don’t dive into shallow water.
- Don’t go in the water if you can’t swim. Make sure children with you can swim, too. Everyone should swim with a buddy.
- In a rip current, swim with it; don’t fight it.
- Never leave children alone in or near water. Swim near a lifeguard.
- Wear a life jacket when appropriate.
Horizon BCBSNJ wants to help you get the care you need. In a medical emergency, always call 911 or your local emergency services number.
Always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your exercise or diet.
Sources: American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Safety Council, WebMD®