Summer is a time for finishing projects, enjoying time with the family, and hanging out with your friends. It can also be when the dangers of being in the heat for too long start sneaking up on you.
The best way to avoid heat illness during this productive time involves three elements.
- Take time to rest whenever you feel tired after working or playing in the heat.
- Find some shade to take a break from the sun each hour.
- Drink plenty of water to ensure that you stay hydrated.
When you focus on those three needs, you'll be less likely to reach a point where your body's temperature control systems get overwhelmed.
How to Prevent Heat Illnesses During the Summer
If you start getting too hot, your body will need help lowering its core temperature. Stepping into the shade for a break is helpful, but it might not be enough to prevent a heat illness. That's when one of today's best cooling products is beneficial to have available.
Here are some of the best items to consider having with you while playing or working in the summer heat.
1. Cooling Bandanas
A cooling bandana keeps your body temperature at appropriate levels by using evaporation principles. This product has cooling crystals inside that swell as they absorb water. After soaking the product in cool water for about 15 minutes, you'll have an economical way to stay comfortable throughout the day.
Several different options are available in this category, including gaiters that serve as face coverings for those that still have COVID restrictions to follow.
2. Neck Coolers
A neck cooler ties around your upper body to provide relief when temperatures start to rise. This product helps anyone who starts breaking a sweat in the summer from their activities, whether you're lounging on the beach or laying concrete.
After soaking the neck cooler in water, you can wring out the excess moisture. Twirl them overhead or snap them to achieve the shape you need for your activity. You'll stay cool through evaporation, just like how your body works naturally with sweat.
You'll receive several hours of relief with this product, which is why it is part of our summer heat safety tips.
3. Wear Summer Hats
When you wear a hat during the summer months, it can proactively work to prevent sunburns caused by UV light.
Although summer hats come in several different shapes and sizes, the best options use a wide brim that shades the top of your head and face while outside. A bucket-style product provides this benefit to your neck.
Try to choose summer hats that come with wicking and cooling technology for the best cooling results. If you must wear a hard hat on the job, consider using a cooling skull cap liner to reap the benefits of staying cool and safe simultaneously.
A flexible brim high crown hat is another option to consider. It delivers 360 degrees of shading to ensure your exposed skin receives less UV exposure.
4. Sunscreen Application
When you know that you'll be working outside for a long time, it helps to have high-quality sunscreen to apply. Although you'll see this option on nearly every summer safety tips list, it's an easy preventative measure to take that many don't use.
If you apply an SPF 50 sunscreen product correctly, it will block up to 98% of the sun's UVB rays. Stepping up to an SPF 100 product can block up to 99%.
Most people receive significant sunburn protection when applying sunscreen with an SPF value between 30 to 50.
Sunscreen products usually need re-application at least once during the day. You might need to reapply it every 30-60 minutes if you're sweating heavily.
5. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
When your body tries to cool itself after spending time in the summer heat, it loses moisture through sweat. If you drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, you can lose even more of the critical fluids your body needs.
The best thing that you can drink when you are hot is water. If you've been sweating profusely, a sugar-free sports drink works to replenish your electrolytes or restore their balance.
On a hot day when you're playing or working in the sun, you might need to consume a liter of fluids per hour to stay hydrated.
6. Wear a Cooling Vest
If you work outside during the summer, a cooling vest helps to keep you comfortable while providing the extra visibility needed to stay safe. This product also works well in warehouse environments where indoor temperatures can rise throughout the year. By keeping your core temperature regulated from the beginning of your shift, you can have the energy to get through the day.
Cooling vests are great tools to use for anyone who likes to exercise outside. You can throw it on over your gear, keep your temperature regulated, and be visible to drivers.
Try to combine a cooling vest with loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that wicks sweat away for the best results.
7. Take Frequent Breaks
Even with the best cooling products helping you, one of the best summer safety tips to remember is to take more breaks. Try to get out of the sun for at least five minutes each hour, preferably in an indoor, air-conditioned space. If that isn't possible, find a shady spot in a place where radiated heat won't affect you.
Take Care of Yourself This Summer!
As a final summer safety tip, it helps to check the local news and other information resources each day to understand what to expect with the weather. When you're prepared to face the heat with these ideas and products, you'll have a great time while taking measures to protect your health.
When your body overheats, it is vital to seek help right away. Rehydrate, get into a regulated indoor environment, and get some rest. Before heading back outside, put on one of today's best safety cooling products to keep your core temperatures regulated.