Summer Survival Guide

Tip: There's no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. No matter what the label says, you need to slather it on after your swim.

Helen Norman/Mint Images

Finally...the season of sun, fun, and freedom! Don't waste a minute of it feeling anything less than awesome.

 

Don't Rely On SUNSCREEN
Yes, you need to slather SPF on exposed skin, but other precautions are just as important. Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and protect your skin and face with clothing, a hat, and shades. (Yep, your retinas can get melanoma too.)

 

Your body with a sunburn
Take a look at what's actually going on when you turn the shade of a lobster.

After 15 minutes 

UV radiation can start damaging your skin if you're not protected. (P.S. Sunscreen takes 30 minutes to start working.) 

After 30 minutes 

A pink tint appears (but you may not see a change for up to 6 hours). Your new shade is due to inflammation of your skin cells. 

After 24 hours 

Agony! The swelling caused by cell inflammation is squeezing your nerve endings and putting pressure on your skin's tissue.

After 3 days 

Peeling is your body’s way of getting rid of sun damage, but some damaged cells may remain. These can lead to skin cancer later in life. 


Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to DRINK UP

If you feel parched, you’re already dehydrated—that puts you at an increased risk of hot weather-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. 


Know the signs of HEAT STROKE

When it’s hot or humid, it becomes harder for your body to release the heat generated during exercise. If your core temperature spikes too high, heat stroke can set in. Avoid ending up in the ER by starting slower than normal, then gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your workout over two full weeks. Try and aim to be back at your usual activity level by day 14.


Turn down the CAR RADIO

Here’s a scary fact: 

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest time for teen drivers. So cut out any distractions while driving—from booming music to texting—that can raise your risk of having an accident. 


Be HEAD SMART

Wearing a helmet while biking reduces the risk of brain injury by up to 85%. Strap one on while skateboarding or riding in an ATV too.


Learn these LIFESAVING SWIM MOVES

Drowning is the second-most-common cause of accidental injury or death in adolescents, but there are easy ways to cut this risk. Stick to zones with a lifeguard present, never swim solo, and learn these simple swimming skills—even if you never plan on getting wet.

 

1. Turn yourself around in a full circle while in the water.

2. Float on your back.

3. Tread water.

4. Swim 25 yards (the length of a standard swimming pool).

 

Caught in a current? 

If you find yourself trapped in a rip tide, follow these steps to get yourself to safety. 

STAY CALM The natural reaction is to fight the current, but struggling against it will make you tired and increase your chance of drowning. 

SWIM PARALLEL TO THE SHORE It will keep you out of the current. Float on your back if your arms get tired. 

HEAD TO SAFETY Once you escape the current, swim to the shore, or wave and shout to get someone’s attention.

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