Summers in this area are hot! IKO Community Management knows that this season is a time for fun in the sun, but we just want to remind you to play it safe, so that you can keep playing all summer long!
Excessive heat is nothing to take lightly. Here are some summer heat safety guidelines to keep everyone happy, safe, and healthy during these last weeks of summer fun:
- Check the Weather – before you head outdoors, even for short excursions, check your local news channel or sites like Weather.gov for an updated forecast for your area. If there are heat advisories or warnings, plan accordingly. If you had plans outdoors and there’s a heat warning you should consider moving them indoors or rescheduling for another day. The hours between 10 am and 4 pm are when the sun is at its strongest.
- Bring Water – It is essential to keep hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. If you’re planning a day outside, bring plenty of water jugs and bottles filled before hand. Even if the area you’ll be spending time in has water fountains it’s a good idea to take filled water bottles just in case the fountains are out of order. If you have space in your freezer, freeze some of the water bottles the night before and pack them, with the other bottles, in your cooler. This serves the dual purpose of keep the cooler chilled while providing cold water all day as the ice in the bottles melts. Don’t fill your freezer bottles up all the way, as water expands as it freezes.
- Take a break – If possible, take a break from your outdoor activities to spend some time in an air-conditioned building. If you have family, friends or neighbors who don’t have air-conditioning, check up on them to make sure that they’re ok and suggest that they come over for some relief from the heat. If you have a pool or have access to a community pool, take advantage of it! Jump in, cool off, and then return to your activities after you’ve given yourself a break.
- Sunscreen– The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying 2 tablespoons of sunscreen (enough to cover your entire body) 30 minutes before even stepping outside. Sunscreen should be applied every 2 hours. If you’re swimming, reapply immediately after exiting the pool. For everyday use, SPF 15 is fine. If you’re spending a lot of time outside use SPF 30 or higher. Make sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Keep newborns covered and out of the sun. Apply sunscreen to babies over the age of 6 months.
- Cover up – Sunlight can reach the skin through clothing. It’s a good idea to invest in some clothing with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of at least 15. Some articles that are essential for any prolonged outdoor activity are:
- Sun Hats
- Long Sleeved Shirts
- UVA/UVB Protected Sunglasses
UPF clothing is thin enough for the summer heat but offers protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
- Check in – even if you’re prepared for the hottest days of summer, other may not be. If you have elderly friends, family or neighbors, give them a call or stop by to make sure they’re all right. Make sure you children are staying hydrated and that you’re reapplying sunscreen as directed. Never leave children unattended, especially on hot summer days.
- Pets - Pets are some of the most vulnerable during hot days. If your pet has to stay outside make sure that there’s plenty of fresh, cool water for them and that they have shade throughout the day. If it all possible, keep your pets inside. If you’re planning to be away, hire a pet sitter to make sure that your pet is taken care of at home if you’re not boarding them at a kennel. When traveling with pets, NEVER leave them in the car with the windows rolled up. Heat in cars can rise dramatically, even in a short period of time. If you must leave your pet in the car for a short period of time, put the air conditioning on and leave them with water. In many states there are laws protecting animals that are left unattended in dangerous heat situations. Make sure you take care of your furry friends this summer!
Summer sunshine encourages people to spend time outdoors. Just make sure that you’re prepared and that your friends, family, neighbors and pets are taken care of during the hottest days. IKO Community Management hopes everyone enjoys the last few weeks of summer!