Summer is here, along with the hottest temperatures of the year. The Alabama Department of Public Health urges everyone to protect their skin against the heat.
The sun is capable of permanently harming unprotected skin and eyes in as little as 15 minutes, according to the health department.
Following these simple tips will help you stay safe in hot weather:
- Always use sunscreen. Apply at least 1 ounce of sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure sunscreen is water-resistant, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- Stay in the shade. Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Babies younger than six months must stay completely covered in shade.
- Wear protective clothing. Long-sleeved shirts, pants, sunglasses and hats all help protect skin from harsh ultraviolet rays.
- Avoid tanning. Sunbathing and tanning beds increase the risk of skin cancer and wrinkles.
- Stay hydrated. Always keep water accessible when in hot weather, and watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Watch out for reflective surfaces. Reflective surfaces such as water, snow and sand can increase the risk of getting sunburned.
Staying cool also doesn’t require a lot of energy. Conserving energy can be done in easy ways that will protect your health and home. Alabama Power wants you to safely enjoy this summer in the most energy-efficient way possible with these tips:
- Use natural lighting. Using natural sunlight early in the day and during the afternoon will help reduce energy usage.
- Check your AC unit. Make sure to get your air conditioning unit serviced early to ensure that it works properly.
- Clean filters. Range-hood grease filters need to be cleaned to ensure proper ventilation.
- Avoid dark colors. Since dark colors absorb heat, you can repel harsh sun rays by using light-colored blinds, shades and draperies. Draperies should be insulated or lined.
- Use exhaust fans. Using exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen will remove heat, moisture and odors. Do not let it run for more than 15 minutes after cooking or it will waste cooled air.
- Hang laundry outside. Dry your laundry in warm weather rather than using the clothes dryer. This will avoid raising the temperature inside and saves electricity.