Summertime is a great opportunity to get active in the sun.Â Tennis, cricket and swimming are some of the most enjoyable ways to spend the season!Â But, itâ€™s important to protect yourself and your kids by taking a few simple precautionsÂ to preventÂ complaintsÂ likeÂ sunstroke, heat rash, dehydrationÂ andÂ sports injuries.
Protect yourselfÂ inÂ the heatÂ
As we all know, the sunâ€™s UVA and UVB rays can be damaging to the skin and the extreme heat can cause other health issues, too. So,Â if youâ€™re out all day in the sunshine, itâ€™s important to keep yourself protected.
- Wear sunscreen.Â Apply it liberally before you go out, and remember to top it upÂ regularlyÂ through the day, especially if youâ€™ve been in a swimming pool or if youâ€™ve been sweating excessively.
- Cover up.Â Wear protective clothing, including a sunhat and sunglasses if practical.Â As well as affecting the skin, the sunâ€™s rays can be harmful to the eyes.
- Stay hydrated.Â Many of us forget to drink enough water, but this is especially important if youâ€™re losing fluids through sweat in the summer heat.Â Have a drink before you start playing, during any breaks, and when the game is overÂ â€“ even if you donâ€™t feel thirsty.
- Get some shade.Â Make sure youâ€™re not exposed to the baking heat all day by playing in a shaded area if possible.Â Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm.
- TakeÂ frequent breaks.Â In hot weather, you may need more breaks than usual.Â Â Keep sipping water every time you stop.
Prevent injuryÂ and accidentsÂ
Sometimes an accident is a true accident, and thereâ€™s nothing you could have done to prevent it. But for most sports-related injuries, the precautions you take can limit the damage.
- Wear protective gear.Â Playing sports in the summer often means we donâ€™t wear much on our arms and legs, but if youâ€™reÂ cycling or skating, youâ€™ll need a helmet and other protective gear to prevent injury in case of a fall.
- Warm up properly.Â Yes, even when the sunâ€™s shining, itâ€™s important to warm up! Take the time toÂ do some stretchesÂ and gentleÂ cardioÂ before launching into a game. This will help prevent avoidableÂ sports injuries.
- Supervise children near water. Thereâ€™s nothing more refreshing than splashing in the pool on a hot summerâ€™s day. But even if your child can swim, you must supervise them when they are playing, and warn them not to dive into shallow water.
Treating illness and injuryÂ
Itâ€™s important to know the signs of injury or illness, and take action in an emergency.
- If someone is showingÂ signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, they need to cool down quickly.Â Move them to a cooler place and give them plenty of water. If their condition has not improved within 30 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
- Have a first aid kit with you, so that you can easily treat scrapes and grazes caused by falls.
- Listen to your body. If something doesnâ€™t feel right, take it easy for a few days and try aÂ sports massageÂ to soothe yourÂ muscles and joints.