Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly During the Summer Months

Enjoy the Outdoors Responsibly

Summer months bring long days of sunshine – the perfect conditions for enjoying outdoor adventures, recreation, relaxation, and socializing.  While summertime brings fun times, it is important we enjoy the outdoors safely.  Older adults, young children, individuals with chronic health conditions, and those who work or exercise outdoors are often more susceptible to the negative consequences of excessive heat and intense sunlight.

Practicing a few tips to ensure your safety in summer heat is essential to making the most out of the summer months while also protecting you and your family from heat-related illnesses.

Common Heat-Related Conditions

High temperatures and humidity are common contributors to heat illness.  If you spend time outdoors exercising or working during a period of high heat and humidity, be alert for these common conditions:

  • Heat rash is a stinging skin irritation that turns your skin red and often feels like pin pricks.
  • Heat cramps are painful spasms in your muscles.
  • Heat exhaustion causes heavy sweating, a fast and weak pulse, and rapid breathing often caused by too little fluid intake combined with too much time spent in excessively high temperatures.
  • Heat stroke is the most life-threatening of the conditions and occurs when your body temperature rises above 106 degrees Fahrenheit too quickly.

Your body uses thermoregulation to keep your core temperature at a safe level.  Controlled by a region in your brain called the hypothalamus, that triggers you to sweat when your body gets increasingly hot.  When the heat entering your body exceeds the rate of heat leaving through sweat evaporation, increases in core body temperature occur.

Individuals aged 65 and older are at a higher risk of heat illness, even without exertion, as their bodies less efficiently regulate body temperature.  Older adults often sweat less than younger counterparts in similar conditions.

Serious medical conditions such as heart and respiratory disease, along with some medications, especially those used for poor circulation, depression, insomnia and to treat infection often used by seniors, increase the risk of heat illness.



Stay Safe During the Hot Summer

Prevention is always the best medicine!  A few tips to stay safe and comfortable during the summer months:

  1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. Dehydration is a significant risk for older adults in hot weather, so remember to drink water regularly, even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  2. Avoid Peak Heat Hours: Enjoy outdoor activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings or evenings. Try to avoid being outside during the hottest hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  3. Dress Appropriately: Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton to allow air circulation and reduce heat absorption.
  4. Wear Sun Protection: Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from direct sunlight. Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to exposed skin to protect against sunburn.
  5. Find Shade: If possible, seek shaded areas or carry a portable umbrella when outdoors to minimize direct exposure to the sun.
  6. Use Cooling Accessories: Use cooling accessories like handheld fans or cooling towels that can be soaked in water and placed around the neck to help lower body temperature.
  7. Take Breaks: Take frequent breaks during outdoor activities and rest in cooler areas.  Avoid overexertion.
  8. Stay Indoors on Extremely Hot Days: When the temperature is exceptionally high, stay indoors in air-conditioned spaces.
  9. Regularly Check on Friends and Family:  If they live alone, check on friends, family members, and neighbors to ensure they are coping well with the heat and have everything they need to stay safe.
  10. Medical Conditions: Be aware of any medical conditions that could be exacerbated by heat, such as heart or respiratory problems. Consult your healthcare provider for additional guidance.
  11. Transportation Considerations: If you need to travel outdoors, use reliable transportation and avoid walking long distances in extreme heat.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are more than 700 heat-related deaths each year in the United States.  By following these tips, we can better protect ourselves from ill fate during the dog days of summer.  In addition to protecting your own well-being – share this safety information with friends, family members and neighbors.  Working together with those you care about to proactively engage these safety protocols could save lives.

About Elan Skilled Nursing and Rehab

Serving since 1916, Elan Skilled Nursing and Rehab is the region’s premier provider of short-term rehabilitation, memory care, and long-term skilled nursing care.

To schedule a personal tour or talk to our admissions team about care, we encourage you to contact Melissa Bednar at 570-344-6177.

Learn more about Skilled Nursing and Rehab.

Visit us:
1101 Vine St.
Scranton, PA 18510

Call us:
(570) 344-6177