Tips for enjoying the summer sunshine

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sun glasses in sand

With beautiful summer weather happening you’ll be tempted to spend more time outside. Whether you’re hiking, having a picnic, canoeing at Laurel Creek, or studying on the grass on campus, you’ll want to make sure you don’t get too much sun. Getting too much sun can lead to sunburn, dehydration or heat stroke. Here are some ways you can enjoy the summer sun more safely:

  1. Wear sunscreen. Apply a sunscreen at least 15 – 30 minutes before you go outside. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and one that says “broad-spectrum” meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Reapply. If you’re outside for a long time, doing an activity which causes you to sweat, or swimming, make sure to reapply often. Even if your sunscreen is waterproof, you still need to reapply.
  3. Accessorize. Protect your head with a wide-brimmed hat and don’t forget a pair of sunglasses, preferably ones that have 100% UV absorption.
  4. Seek the shade. Especially during the most intense sun of the day (between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Look for shady spots under trees, awnings, tents, or umbrellas.
  5. Drink plenty of liquid. Make sure to keep yourself cool and hydrated with water to avoid dehydration or heat stroke.
  6. Keep your house cool. Even if you don’t have air conditioning, you can keep your house cool by shutting the curtains or blinds during the day, keep the windows open at night when the air is cooler, run your fans to keep air moving, and avoid using the oven by making a meal that doesn’t require heat like a sandwich or salad, or cooking outside on a bar-be-que if you have one.
  7. Find an air-conditioned space. If your house is simply too hot during the day, find an air-conditioned space on campus to cool off, or visit a public library, mall, or a pool to cool down.

Following these tips can help you have a safe and happy time in the great outdoors. So go on outside and enjoy the warm weather!

For more information, see:

Dietitians of Canada - Why is Water So Important?

Health Canada - Sun Safety

Health Direct Australia - Staying Cool

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