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During summer months, days are longer and more people are outside for longer periods of time, increasing the health risks from heat exhaustion and overexposure to the sun.
Each year, more Americans on average die from heat waves than from any other natural disaster.
And every hour, one person dies from skin cancer, which is the most common occurring cancer in the Unied States.
To avoid heat exhaustion and overexposure to the sun, follow these steps to stay cool and safe this summer:
– Stay hydrated – Water makes up approximately 60 to 70 percent of the human body by weight, so all of us need to stay hydrated to keep our bodies running smoothly.
– Wear lightweight clothing – To keep your body temperature down and stay protected from UV radiation, wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.
– Apply sunscreen – Approximately 30 minutes before heading outside, apply SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, and reapply every two hours.
– Protect your eyes and face – Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun damage and the development of cataracts.
– Seek shade – Find shade during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to reduce the risk of too much sun exposure.
– Teach sun and heat safety – Keep an eye on others, especially the elderly Remind them to be safe in the sun and the heat. Watch for signs of heat illnesses, which can include hot and dry skin, confusion, hallucinations and aggression.
– Check the UV Index – When planning outdoor activities, check the UV Index (http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html) to identify the times that pose the greatest risk for overexposure to the sun.
– Check the Air Quality Index – On hot summer days, ozone levels can rise, making the air unhealthy to breathe, so be sure to check the Air Quality Index (http://www.airnow.gov) before heading outside.