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Summer Safety for the Family


Summer Safety for the Family As we enjoy all that summer has to offer, make sure to take these precautions to protect yourself and your family. Drink plenty of water. Your body loses water through respiration at high altitude twice as fast as it does at sea level. High altitude hiking, running, backpacking, and biking can also make you need to urinate more often and can also stop your thirst response, increasing your risk of dehydration. Remaining hydrated at elevation is a serious task. The Institute for Altitude Medicine recommends drinking extra water daily when at high altitudes, and if going above 10,000 feet to also increase your intake of carbohydrates. In light of these increased risks, how much water should you drink at high altitude? The IAM recommends drinking an extra 1-1.5 liters of water daily at high altitude, for a total of 3-4 liters. Ideally, those 3-4 liters would contain 2-300 grams of carbohydrates. Supplementing electrolytes is important for any high-output activity, but it becomes crucial at higher altitudes as well. Additionally, whether or not you’ll be encountering exceedingly hot or cold temperatures should factor into your hydration plan.Keep burns at bay with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Did you know that as your altitude increases, so does your risk for skin cancer? More radiation reaches you up here and the risk for skin cancer is 25%-30% higher in Colorado. The good news is that the danger posed by UV radiation can be greatly reduced by you! Yes, you can still enjoy outdoor activities while limiting your skin cancer risk by taking simple, smart protective measures. Protect your skin against UV exposure with broad-spectrum sunscreen and sun-safe clothing, hats and eyewear. Be sure your sunscreen has an SPF of 30+ and is water-resistant. Don’t forget to reapply, and be sure to see GMA dermatologist, Dr. Kelly Thomas, annually for a skin exam. Make it a way of life. Protect yourself every day, even when it’s cloudy. Avoid indoor tanning entirely. Get more details here: Your Daily Sun Protection Guide.Check for ticks. More than 30 varieties of ticks call Colorado home, and they can live in elevations up to 10,000 feet. To avoid tick bites and tick-borne illness, wear long sleeves and tall socks or pants and consider clothing treated with insect repellent or use it before you head outdoors. Once home, be sure to do a tick check. If you experience flu-like symptoms after spending time in the woods, contact your GMA physician immediately.