Rising temperatures and longer days have people bounding toward summer – springing from simple spruce-ups around the house to major projects.
“The days are longer, and you can fit more in – you want to be outside,” said Becky Turpin, director of home and community safety for the National Safety Council.
But there are dangers to working under the merciless summer sun. Since June is National Safety Month, and the beginning of summer, the council is urging do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike to protect themselves against heat-related illnesses.
Here is some advice from the safety council and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that can help you stay cool and safe.
Drink plenty of fluids – early and often: Avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic liquids, which can be dehydrating, or super-cold beverages that can cause stomach cramps.
Cover up: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.
Mind the hour: Work during the coolest hours of the day – in the morning and evening. Take it easy between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., which can be the hottest time of the day.
Take a siesta: Rest often in shady or air-conditioned areas. Napping during peak sun hours can allow your body to recover.
Wet down: Apply cool, damp washcloths or towels to your wrists, ankles, armpits and neck during breaks. Take tepid showers, baths or sponge baths when you feel warm, during lunch and dinner breaks, and before bed.
Pace yourself: Start slowly then gradually increase the pace, especially if unaccustomed to working in hot environments.
Eat light: Avoid hot and heavy meals.
Use a buddy system: Work together and keep tabs on each other. Heat-induced illness can cause confusion or unconsciousness.
Be alert: Stay informed of extreme heat alerts and plan accordingly. Check on people ages 65 or older who are more susceptible to high-heat conditions.
Read the signs: Practice safety precautions, and know the symptoms of and treatments for heat-related illnesses.
What are your DIY plans this summer? Tell us about them in the comments section.