Summer is a time of sunshine, outdoor activities, and relaxation. However, the hot Florida weather can present unique challenges and risks. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at regulating temperature, making us more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.
As a result, you want to follow our essential summer safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer season. Our team at Aden Senior Living, a brand-new retirement community in Ormond Beach, Florida, is sharing what you can do to protect your health and well-being as you celebrate Florida summer living!
One of the most crucial summer safety tips for all of us is to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to various health problems, including heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you do not feel thirsty. You could also try drinking herbal teas or flavoring your water with fruit slices to add variety throughout the day.
Additionally, avoid or limit alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration, and include hydrating foods such as fruits, vegetables, and soups in your diet.
Some of the foods with the highest water content include:
- Lettuce – 96% water
- Celery – 95% water
- Cucumber – 95% water
- Tomatoes – 94% water
- Watermelon – 92% water
- Bell peppers – 92% water
- Strawberries – 91% water
- Cantaloupe – 90% water
- Peaches – 89% water
- Oranges – 88% water
If you have a medical condition that affects your fluid intake, consult your doctor for personalized hydration recommendations.
The color of your clothes may play a larger role in your temperature than you realize. For example, dark colors like blacks and grays absorb the sunlight and keep you warm; however, light colors like pastels reflect the sunlight to help keep you cooler.
How your clothes fit you also impact your body temperature. As a result, choose lightweight and loose-fitting garments that allow air circulation.
Additionally, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, and do not forget to apply a sunscreen that is water-resistant and has an SPF of at least 30, especially on exposed areas such as the face, arms, and neck. If you are sweating or swimming, remember to reapply your sunscreen periodically.
Plan Outdoor Activities Wisely
Engaging in outdoor activities is an excellent way to enjoy the summer, but it is essential to plan wisely to avoid heat-related issues. For instance, if you like to garden, plan to tend to your plants during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
When you are out and about during peak heat times, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas to rest and cool down. You could also choose recreational activities that involve water, such as swimming or water aerobics, as they provide natural cooling and reduce the risk of overheating.
Be Mindful of Medications
Certain medications can increase the risk of dehydration or heat-related problems. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your medications and their potential side effects in hot weather. Follow their advice on dosage adjustments, timing of medication intake, or any precautions you should take.
Store medications properly, as high temperatures can affect their effectiveness. If you are traveling, make sure to pack your medications in a cool bag or container to maintain their stability.
Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. It occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.”
Luckily, certain signs can signal if a person is experiencing heat stroke, so seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Lack of sweating, despite the heat
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Confusion or disorientation
- Flushed, dry skin
Enjoying a safe, healthy, and fun summer is possible if you take the right precautions. By following these essential summer safety tips, you can protect yourself from heat-related illnesses and fully embrace the joys of the season. Remember, taking care of your well-being should always be a priority, regardless of the time of year.
We invite you to explore our website or contact a member of the Aden Senior Living team to learn more about our Florida retirement community and how we can cater to your ideal summer lifestyle to you!