Safety comes first in the sun

Published 7:42 pm Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mornings and nights have been abnormally pleasant this week. Humidity has been lower than normal, gentle breezes and clouds stifle the sun, which isn’t beating down on Beaufort County quite as hard as it usually does at the beginning of August.

It’s been a nice way to welcome back football season. High school players reported for their first day of practice on Monday. Each team has been optimistic as the sound of pads crunching fills the air.

As many know, though, this cooler eastern North Carolina weather won’t last long. Temperatures have begun climbing again, and forecasts have them sitting in the mid-80s next week.

Knowing that, it’s important to remember to stay safe when outdoors. Athletes and coaches will be busy outdoors as they prepare for their respective Aug. 18-season openers. Each high school in the county has done well to beat the heat by practicing early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

Frequent water breaks — especially in shaded areas — are important to avoiding dehydration. One can work up a sweat by being outside alone, so athletes running drills in pads need to be extra careful about replenishing fluids.

Sunscreen is something that can often get overlooked. Football players will have a lot covered up by shoulder pads and helmets, but their arms and legs are left exposed. Using some sunscreen before practice begins, even if the sun is just coming up or beginning to go down, will help stave off a burn.

These tidbits are applicable to anyone this time of the year. Athletes aren’t the only ones out in the sun. Gardening, spending time on the river, taking a walk or going to the pool are all activities to enjoy the remainder of the summer. Make sure they’re all enjoyed safely.