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Published on July 20, 2015

Stay cool and safe: Summer in the city

Sun in the sky and burgers on the grill—these may be some of your favorite things around this time of year.

drinkBut summer is also the peak season for things that aren’t so delightful, from sunburned skin to heat-related illness.

Faranak Dabir, MD, an internal medicine physician at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, shares some tips for enjoying summer safely.

Q: What are some of the ways to stay cool and safe this season?

One thing you can do is wear brightly colored, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, which allows the body to cool properly. If you must do strenuous activities, do them in the early morning or evening. And take breaks.

Q: Why is it important to drink more fluids during the summer months?

Drinking plenty of liquids, such as water, helps your body sweat and maintain a normal temperature. Many emergency room admissions in the summertime are for dehydration. One way to find out if you have enough water is to check your urine. If it’s dark yellow, you need to drink more liquids. But avoid alcohol or beverages with large amounts of sugar.

Q: What about skin damage?

To help protect from sunburn and skin cancer, don’t forget your wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. When you’re sitting outdoors for long periods, consider bringing or renting an umbrella shade. Wear a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours (sooner if you’re sweating or swimming).

Q: In extreme heat, where can people cool off?

Shopping malls and public libraries are great options. Just a few hours around air conditioning helps protect against heatstroke. Taking cool showers at home also helps.

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