Use caution — and sunscreen

Published 3:36 pm Sunday, July 21, 2019

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for today and the coming days.

“Dangerously high temperatures and humidity could quickly cause heat stress or heat stroke if precautions are not taken,” according to the National Weather Service.

It’s hot, Of that, there is no doubt.

The risks we all run don’t just include heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Perhaps we’re not getting the eight cups of water per day that is recommended every day, which leads to dehydration, which can lead to many other problems.

Though it may be in the plans, maybe this weekend isn’t the weekend to work in the garden. Maybe this weekend should be spent inside, away from the blazing sun.

But if you must work outside, do it in the early morning or in the evening. Wear sunscreen, no matter what time of day it may be. Take advantage of whatever shade you can find. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing and, above all, drink plenty of water — more than you think you need.

While a dip in the river might be just what’s needed to cool you off, if you’re planning that dip in Bath or Broad Creek, you might want to reconsider that as well. According to Sound Rivers’ Swim Guide, those two sites came back with elevated levels of enterococci and e. coli, indicators of fecal contamination, likely washed into the river from recent storms. Sound Rivers is recommending finding a different place to swim or at least use caution at or near these sites. These bacteria are known for causing gastrointestinal illnesses and skin infections. If you have an open wound, you might just want to stay out of the river altogether.

It’s summer time, but even in summer, there are days when it may just be safer to stay inside. But if the out-of-doors is calling you on a sunny day, by all means, answer the call. Just use caution — and sunscreen.