Summer Sun Safety Tips for Seniors

Summer weather draws people outdoors to enjoy sunshine, outdoor activities and occasions that bring family and friends together. During these fun times people of all ages should keep in mind the potential dangers of being exposed to excessive heat. Seniors are considered to be at high risk for heat related illnesses and should be extra careful during the summer months.

Senior couple riding bicycle

Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is  not given. When a heat stroke occurs the body is unable to control its temperature. The body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat related-illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures with inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

Here are some of the easiest ways to stay safe from the heat this summer:

Drink plenty of  water. Heat can dehydrate you quickly so make sure to have plenty of water on hand during the day, whether you’re outdoors or not.

Protect your skin. Use sunscreen when you know you’ll be outside for a prolonged period of time during the day. Wear a hat to lessen sun exposure to the face and neck – two spots extremely vulnerable to contact with the sun.

Limit strenuous activity and exercise. Take frequent breaks to cool down. If you exercise regularly, try it during the early morning or late evenings. Planning around the hottest time of the day can help to limit exposure to the heat and can be much easier on your body. Take regular breaks when possible if you have to  work outdoors.

Take frequent breaks to cool down. Make sure your cooling device – whether you have an electric fan, a portable air conditioner or central AC – is working properly to ensure faster recovery.
Source: http://www.cdc.gov;

Sabrina Simon By Sabrina Simon,
Program Specialist, Family Relationships
Cooperative Extension Program

Visit us online at www.pvamu.edu/cahs

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