In the excitement of summertime activities, such as beach-time, picnics, pick-up games, and pool-time, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. Being outside in the sun on days when the weather is summer perfect is something a lot of people look forward to after cold winters and rainy springs, but the summer sun has its own risks.

Take care of: Skin

We know that you know all about wearing sunscreen – regardless of having a light or darker skin tone. Using an SPF of at least 15 when you’re out in the sun is an essential step toward protecting yourself from serious, even life-threatening, diseases such as melanoma. Re-applying sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you are sweating or in and out of water, is also important. Getting a tan may make you feel a bit better about the look of your skin temporarily, but tans fade or start off as burns, and you can be left with potentially dangerous skin damage. Your skin is a living organ, your largest, and it should be given just as much care as your heart or lungs.

Take care of: Hydration

When it’s warmer, we sweat out more of the water we take in throughout the day. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve worked up much of a sweat, it’s still necessary to stay properly hydrated during summer months. Try setting goals for the amount of water you should drink each day by labeling your water bottle or setting different alarms so you know if you need to catch up. It also helps to replace non-water beverages like soda, coffee, tea, and juice with water once or twice a day – just to get that extra boost of hydration when you most need it. Remember, if you feel thirsty, that’s your body’s way of saying you’re already a bit dehydrated.

Take care of: Summer activities

Getting outdoors and staying outside long into the night is a fun summer tradition for many families and friends who are happy to take advantage of good weather. In this excitement, small mistakes can be made that put your safety or others in jeopardy. The summer season is an especially important time to keep track of children and animals in hot cars, and to keep an eye on important safety measures like swimming in areas that are well-guarded by adults. Fireworks are also a popular summertime activity that require appropriate use and supervision.