CHARLESTON,SC (WCBD) — Memorial Day is just around the corner. Considered by many to be the kick-off to summer, this weekend will see thousands flocking to beaches, pools and parks.
The longer and hotter days bring lots of outdoors time, and the various dangers that come along with it.
Here are some tips to enjoy the season while protecting your family and yourself.
1.Protect yourself from skin cancer.
Current estimates show that 1 in 5 people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. While it can be caused by genetics, most skin cancers develop from extended amounts of sun exposure.
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are brought on by long periods of time in the sun, sometimes years of repeated exposure. The more dangerous form, called melanoma, is typically caused by intermittent periods of direct sunlight. 1 to 2 serious burns before the age of 18 doubles the risk.
Dr. Todd Schlesinger, MD,FAAD, of The Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston says they never recommend staying inside at all times, but says they encourage people to take the disease seriously, and take every precaution.
He says there are also many myths about skin cancer and prevention. Many of those myths are listed on their Facebook page:
2. Protect yourself from heat exhaustion
Keeping that summer beach body doesn’t mean you have to put yourself at risk. While outdoor runs and workouts are great for your fitness, a lowcountry summer can make them a challenge. There are many ways to ensure you stay safe in the heat and humidity.
Fitness experts at Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant say the best thing to do is avoid the hottest part of the day. Try to work out early in the morning or late in the evening if possible.
They also say that it is crucial to hydrate. They say this is something that everyone should do whether or not they workout everyday. It is especially important in the summer.
64 ounces of water is the standard recommendation for daily water consumption. Some experts also believe that number should be close to half of your overall body weight.
If you are planning to work out, the standard recommendation is to drink 8-10 ounces of water 2 hours before a workout and 8-10 every 20 minutes during the workout. They also say a glass of water should be consumed after a workout is over.
Amy Minkel, one of the owners of Fleet Feet says that it is also helpful to wear proper summer workout attire and replenish electrolytes after sweating.
3. Protecting your pets from heat stress
The dog days of summer can be pretty tough for man’s best friend, or any other pets. The Charleston County Animal Society says they see many cases of heat exhaustion in the summertime.
They recommend walking pets in the coolers times of the day, and providing plenty of shade and water for outdoor pets.
Hot surfaces can also be damaging to a pets paw’s. Sand at the beach or pavement in the parking lot can be enough to cause them pain.
C.A.S. says the most important thing to avoid is leaving animals in cars that aren’t running. They say if you are unable to take your pet into the store or go through a drive through, you should leave them at home. Heat exhaustion can happen in minutes.