July 29, 2019
Summer is a great season for enjoying the outdoors, swimming at your local pool or lake, and spending time with family and friends. From staying hydrated to using sunscreen, it’s important to take steps to protect your health during the summer months.
For Part 2 of our series, we rounded up some tips to help keep you safe, healthy, energized and hydrated while you enjoy the rest of your summer.
Practice swimming safety
Genesee Health Plan and the YMCA of Greater Flint encourage children, adults and families to follow swimming safety measures to reduce risk of drowning and swimming-related emergencies. Young or inexperienced swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket, even if on a flotation device. Always swim with a buddy, regardless of age or swimming ability, and do not swim while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The YMCA of Greater Flint offers swim lessons year-round at both the Downtown and Pierson Road locations for children six months old and older, including adults. For more information on swim lessons, visit flintymca.com. For more information on swimming safety, click here to be directed to the full story on our website.
Choose snacks that fuel your body.
Whether you’re at work or on vacation, remember to feed your body foods that fuel your health. Try to avoid sugary and processed foods. Instead, reach for fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, eggs, Greek yogurt and whole grains. These foods will help you feel full and energized throughout the day. For some snack ideas, check out this list of 28 Healthy Snacks that Your Kids (and you) Will Love.
Stick to a sleep routine.
Longer days and warmer weather makes it tempting to stay up late. However, it’s important for both adults and children to maintain a consistent sleep routine to stay energized throughout the week. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 7-9 hours of sleep for adults and 9-11 hours of sleep for children. Bedtimes should also be around the same time every day. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep, try turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed, reading a book, journaling, or meditating instead. It is important to sleep in a dark, comfortable room and to avoid caffeinated beverages after 3 p.m. For more tips to help you sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s website.
Take bug bites seriously.
Bug bites are itchy and can be annoying. Wear insect repellent when going outside and always check your body for bites and ticks after you come inside. Additionally, if you’re allergic to bees and/or wasps, it’s important to take proactive measures to cover your body. If you or your child have trouble breathing, chest pain, racing heartbeat, dizziness, vomiting or a headache, visit the closest emergency room or urgent care immediately.
If you live in areas where there are ticks, avoid tall grass and areas with brush. When in these areas, it’s important to wear bright colors so you can see if ticks land on your clothes. Remember to wear long pants and sleeves and closed-toe shoes when hiking. For more tips on how to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease, read our article on How to Stop Ticks in Their Tracks.
Though many people know the importance of protecting their skin from the sun’s rays, sunscreen works best when reapplied throughout the day. Reapplying sunscreen every two hours will help protect you from the sun’s rays, especially if you are engaging in recreational activities where you’re working up a sweat or in the water. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before sun exposure. The American Cancer Society recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and to limit direct exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. For more tips on how to protect your skin from the sun this summer, read the American Cancer Society’s article Have a Sun-safe Summer.
Drink water even if you’re not thirsty.
The key to staying hydrated, especially on hot days, is drinking water consistently throughout the day. Even though your body tells you when its thirsty, you should hydrate regularly to avoid dehydration, headaches and fatigue. Below are recommendations for staying hydrated:
If you or your child are having difficulty remembering to drink water throughout the day, check out this list of hydration apps for mobile devices which will remind you when to drink water throughout the day.
Schedule back-to-school appointments before school starts.
With school right around the corner, it’s important to be proactive when scheduling back to school physicals, wellness check-ups, eye exams and dental exams. Even though summer isn’t quite over, now is the time to start scheduling back-to-school appointments for the entire family. Back-to-school appointments are a proactive way to ensure better health and identify potential health issues before they happen.
Genesee Health Plan (GHP) believes in a proactive approach to health care by providing preventive services to community members which include immunizations. GHP in partnership with the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) provides funding to the GCHD for a variety of immunizations for community members and children as they head back to school. Immunizations are covered under the Genesee Health Plan, Healthy Michigan Plan, Medicaid, Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace (Obamacare).
Michigan legislation does provide exemptions to mandatory vaccinations for medical, religious or other reasons. The GCHD can assist you with vaccination waivers for Genesee County residents and those who have children attending Genesee County Schools. For more information on how to obtain a waiver or to schedule an appointment for your child to receive back to school immunizations, call the GCHD at 810-237-4540 or click here to be directed to the immunization’s page on their website. For more about immunization and waiver information, click here to be directed to the immunization’s page on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Website.
The Genesee Health Plan is here to help you live a healthy and happy all year long. As always, if you need access to health care coverage or resources, visit our website or give us a call at (844) 232-7740 for more information.
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