Feeling the sun on your skin is one of the best parts of going to the beach, but it’s important to know how to stay safe during hot, humid days.

Learn 3 ways to protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays.

Here are 3 heat safety tips to keep you cool at the beach this summer:

1. Know how to avoid and recognize heatstroke

Heatstroke can happen in high heat, during intense physical activity, or most often, due to a combination of the two factors. A healthy body temperature is generally between 97°F (36°C) to 99°F (37°C), and heatstroke sets in at about 104°F (40°C).

Infants, children, and elderly people are most susceptible to heatstroke. Heatstroke can occur in animals, so make sure you keep your pet cool as well.

Photo by Alex Steyn

Prevent heatstroke by staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing and a vented hat, abstaining from exertion during extreme heat, and recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke.

Heatstroke has a variety of physical symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Red or pink skin
  • Rapid heart rate or breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Disorientation, confusion, and slurring

If you’re concerned that you or anyone around you has heatstroke, get medical help immediately.

While you wait for help, seek refuge in the shade or indoors. Wear minimal clothing and try to begin lowering your body temperature by drinking cold water and treating your body with cold compresses.


2. Understand the effects of humidity and humidex

Simply put, humidity is the level of moisture in air. But what is it about humidity that makes a warm temperature feel uncomfortably hot? Humidity makes it hard for your skin to release and evaporate sweat. This prevents heat from escaping your body.

Photo by Hans Reniers

Humidex indicates how the humidity will affect our experience of given temperature. A humidex of around 40 or more means that the humidity may feel quite uncomfortable, or even be high enough to lead to heatstroke.

Check the humidex as well as the temperature before heading outdoors. This will help you determine what to wear, where to go, and what activities you can do safely in the heat.


3. Be aware of pollution and air quality warnings

Smog is composed of ground-level ozone and airborne particle matter. It can irritate lungs and affect breathing in high concentrations. During the hot, humid, summer months, smog is more likely to form and is more likely to have heightened negative health effects.

Photo by Minuk

Air pollution can lead to respiratory problems and has been linked to cancer and other chronic diseases. If there are air pollution warnings where you live, avoid spending extended periods of time outdoors. Abstain from or limit demanding physical activity if outside until the warning is lifted.

Stay safe from Covid-19 at the beach with our safety articles:

3 Safety Tips for the Swim Guide Community

How can I safely go outside during the coronavirus outbreak?

Covid-19 and recreational water quality

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