Medical Wellness

Primary Prevention for Summertime Wellness

By Dr. Juliann Perdue
College of Nursing

Your risk of dehydration increases with hot weather, exercise and activities which may lead to overexertion. It is important to increase your water intake, drinking at least 6-8 glasses per day. This can be supplemented with low sugar electrolyte drinks. However, avoid consuming high caffeine energy drinks which act as a diuretic and increase the risk of dehydration.

Sun Protection
When enjoying the California sun, preventing sun related illness and injury is critical. Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes prior to going outdoors, using at least SPF 30 and reapply often (every 1-2 hours). Be sure to remind those you are with to apply sunscreen as well. Protective clothing and cover-ups, such as head covers and hats, are also valuable. Remember shade, shade, and more shade is crucial during the hottest part of the day, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Increased outdoor activities often lead to increased injuries.

Remember to utilize properly fitted car seats and seat belts. Never leave humans or animals in a hot car. Even leaving the windows cracked open does not provide enough air circulation, and the inside of a car is much hotter than the outside temperature. If traveling, be strategic regarding the weather forecast and planned activities.

If new to exercise, begin slowly and listen to your body. Minimize exercise during the hottest part of the day and drink plenty of water. Dress appropriately for hot weather and utilize suitable safety gear when engaging in activities (helmets, eye protection, knee/wrist guards, etc.).

Water and summer seem to go hand-in-hand. Remember to wear properly fitted life vests and have certified floatation devices available when near water. Never leave children alone at pools, or near recreational water areas. It’s important to teach children, and adults how to swim. For more on water safety:

Food Safety
Foodborne illness increases in the summertime, especially Salmonella. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Do not allow food to sit out, particularly dairy products for more than 2 hours (limit to 1 hour if the temperature is greater than 90°F).