Stay safe in the summer sun

Summertime may have you thinking about longer days and a sky full of sunshine, but safety should always be top of mind.

“When you’re on vacation or just celebrating the summer with friends and family, you certainly don’t want to waste your time in an emergency department,” said Kathryn Fiddler, DNP, MBA, RN, Vice President of Population Health for TidalHealth. “Pack your medications, make sure you have your sunscreen and just take care of yourself. You’re here to have fun.”

Dehydration/heat exhaustion

Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in. Symptoms can include fainting, feeling dizzy, vomiting, diarrhea and a fever. During hot weather and outdoor activity, bring plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated.


Products with an SPF of 30 or higher are recommended for anyone outdoors for more than 15 minutes. Sunscreen should be applied liberally, at least 15-30 minutes prior to exposure, and reapplied every two hours or after coming out of the water.

Surf-related neck and backinjuries

Each summer, Delmarva lifeguards make hundreds of rescues for head, neck and spinal injuries because of rough surf. To avoid injury, speak with the guard on duty and check the conditions before going into the water.


Riptides, narrow channels of fast- moving water that can pull you out to sea, lead to many of the thousands of surf rescues every summer. Panicked swimmers who attempt to swim straight back to shore put themselves at risk of drowning because of fatigue.


For your beach trip, remember to bring only the essentials. Partially bury your cooler in the sand, cover it with blankets, and shade it with a beach umbrella. Don’t eat anything perishable that has been sitting out for more than two hours. Don’t eat perishable food that has been exposed to temperatures above 90°F for more than one hour (like on a hot beach day).

Always remember, when it comes to water safety, the best practice is to keep your feet in the sand until the lifeguard is in the stand.

“Be safe, not only at the beach, but always. If you have very fair skin, have experienced many sunburns in your lifetime, have a family history of skin cancer, or have many moles, it is recommended to have an annual skin examination with your primary care provider or a dermatologist,” added Danielle Giddins, MD, TidalHealth’s Chief Wellness Officer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *