Summer in Colorado provides an endless array of opportunities to get out and soak up some sun. All while we enjoy all the beauty that nature has to offer. However, this doesn’t come without some concerns about staying safe and healthy.
We will address some of the most common health threats you can experience during the Colorado summer. And then we’ll provide some tips to remain safe and active all summer long.
Protect Yourself from Sunburns
The idea of being outdoors in the warm summer months is appealing to most people. With its endless array of nature trails, outdoor parks, and swimming holes, Colorado certainly has no shortage of beautiful ways to spend your day outside. However, it’s important to protect your skin while having fun in the sun. What are the best ways to do this? 
- Avoid the sun during peak hours: Described as the hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., it can be helpful to avoid the sun when the rays are at their strongest. This isn’t always feasible, as many outdoor activities take place during this time. Therefore, if you must be outdoors during this time, put these other tips into practice to protect yourself.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat: The addition of a wide-brimmed hat will keep the sun off the delicate skin of your face and neck and help prevent painful burns.
- Use an Appropriate Sunscreen: If you have fair skin or tend to burn easily, be sure to use a high-quality SPF 30 or above sunscreen. Apply sunscreen at least a half hour before heading outdoors. If you are sweating or swimming, reapply sunscreen every couple of hours to provide maximum protection from dangerous and painful burns.
Protect Yourself from Heat Exhaustion & Dehydration
Spending too much time outdoors in extremely high temperatures can sometimes result in a condition known as heat exhaustion. Strenuous exercise can contribute to heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can cause uncomfortable cramping in its mildest form or result in a potentially fatal heatstroke in its most serious form. Use the following tips to protect yourself from heat exhaustion. 
- Take frequent breaks: When you feel yourself overheating, be sure to go into the shade or find an air-conditioned area to take a break in. Additionally, going swimming can provide some relief from overheating.
- Drink plenty of water: Having plenty of cold water on hand to drink can help prevent you from overheating and awill also protect you from dehydration. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks, as these tend to promote dehydration. Focus on pure, cold water for the best level of protection.
- Wear light-colored clothing: Dark clothing attracts and traps heat close to the skin, making you more prone to overheating. Wearing white or other light-colored clothing can help keep you cooler for a longer period of time.
Protect Yourself from Altitude Sickness
It can be difficult to get used to a different altitude. As a result, altitude sickness can cause headaches, extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and many other troublesome symptoms. Use the following tips to help avoid altitude sickness. 
- Ask your doctor for appropriate medication: In some cases, a prescription medication can help you adjust to a different altitude. Ask your doctor is this option might be right for you.
- Allow your body to adjust gradually: Altitude sickness can be prevented when you let your body gradually adjust to a new location. Don’t engage in strenuous physical activities in a new area without first learning how your body is coping with the change in altitude. Take it easy at first until you’ve fully acclimated to your new area.
Protect Yourself from Insect Bites
When you’re out in nature, insect bites are a fact of life. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from uncomfortable bites. 
- Wear bug spray: There are a variety of products now on the market that can be applied to the skin to deter insects from biting you. Additionally, candles using these same ingredients can be placed in gathering areas to keep pesky insects from bothering you.
- Avoid sweet perfumes: Insects are sometimes drawn to sweet fragrances such as hair products and perfumes. It is best to avoid these products when heading outdoors.
- Use insect nets: Gathering or eating areas can be covered with mesh nets that will keep insects from infiltrating the area. Quickly disposing of trash and food waste will also keep bees and wasps away, as they are naturally drawn to fermenting fruit and other foods.
Having fun in the warm Colorado sun during the beautiful summer months is a worthy goal. Use these tips to make sure you and your family stay safe and healthy all summer long as you pursue your outdoor festivities.
Recently edited. Originally published: July 10, 2017