Summertime Safety

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®