Summer is here! The rising temperatures during the summer make it a perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. However, you should keep these tips in mind so you can focus on having fun: 1. Make Yourself "Unattractive" Scented soaps, perfumes, and hair sprays can attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Avoid areas where insects nest or gather, such as pools of still water, uncovered foods, and gardens where flowers are in bloom. Use bug spray with DEET. The chemical wards off ticks (which can carry Lyme disease) and mosquitoes (which can spread West Nile virus). Pediatricians recommend 10% to 30% DEET for children older than 2 months, but don’t use it on infants. 2. Use the 20-Minute Rule When out in the heat, you need to remember to stay hydrated. It is best to drink some water every 20 minutes. If you plan on being outside for more than 1 hour, consider drinking a sports drink to replenish electrolytes. 3. Scan for Bad Plants Learn to recognize poison ivy and poison oak, and steer clear. When hiking, carry a book with photos of these plants to refer to in case of doubt. You can also look them up on your phone if you are within cell phone range. 4. Go Broad Use a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. That means it will screen out both UVB and UVA rays. You need it even if it’s not a blazing hot day. You should also wear a hat, pants and long-sleeve shirt to protect from the sun.
5. Stay Cool Summer heat can be more than uncomfortable – it can be a threat to your health, especially for older adults and children. Drink plenty of water and stay inside if possible. If you go outside, wear lightweight clothing made of natural fibers.
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 13, 2015