Beat the heat with summer self-care tips
Now that summer is here and the heat is picking up, Dallas ISD is encouraging all staff and community members to take precautions to stay safe. Jennifer Finley, the executive director of Health Services, shared several quick tips to help everyone out.
Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps keep body temperatures cool, so watch out for yourself and those around you. Learn to recognize the signs of overheating, which include muscle cramps, pale or clammy skin and confusion. Pay close attention to vomiting, as that can be a sign of someone going beyond heat exhaustion into heat stroke. As for what to drink, Finley said “water is best” over sports and energy drinks.
Get enough sleep. Sleep is important all year round, and Finley recommends aiming for a minimum of six hours and, ideally, eight hours.
Use sun protection. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can put you at risk for skin cancer, so take advantage of sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes. Finley explained that no SPF blocks out 100 percent of UV rays, so the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of at least 30, which will still block about 97 percent of UV rays.
Watch out for insects. The Health Services Department has already received messages from Dallas County with West Nile safety tips, so Finley is encouraging everyone to wear some kind of product that protects against mosquito bites, whether it contains DEET, citronella or something similar.
Move your feet. Especially for those who are spending long days in the office, it is important to get up and move around. Finley recommends setting a timer or a reminder on your phone so you do not sit for too long. You can also take a lap around the hall, head up the stairs or walk in an underground parking lot to get out of the sun. In addition to preventing swelling in the ankles and feet, regular movement has great mental health benefits.
You matter and so does your health and well-being! In Finley’s words, “Take some time to take care of you so you can take care of and give back to others.”