Summer Safety: Alcohol and the Sun
It’s summer again, and many spend these long, hot days having drinks on a beach, at a barbeque, or on a boat. Sometimes, however, alcohol and the sun can be a dangerous combination. Here are some summer safety tips if you plan on combining alcohol and the sun this summer:
1. Drink plenty of water! Combining alcohol and the sun can be dangerous if you are not hydrating properly. Both alcohol and the sun can dehydrate you, leaving you confused, dizzy, and prone to accidents. A dehydrated body is more prone to heat exhaustion. Extreme heat exhaustion can even cause heat stroke, which can be deadly. Moreover, these conditions can materialize so quickly that the person may not even have a chance to realize they are dehydrated. Also, a person who is dehydrated feels the effects of alcohol more strongly, meaning that if you drink as much as you would indoors, when you combine alcohol and the sun, you will likely be much drunker than you expected. This can be dangerous if you plan to drive (and yes, you can get a DUI on a boat or Jet Ski too!) or engage in some other activity like parasailing, outdoor sports, or cooking on an outdoor barbecue.
So if you plan on combining alcohol and the sun, stay hydrated! Have at least one glass of water for every drink you consume, and take care when operating heavy machinery.
2.) Eat Food! If you are planning to combine alcohol and the sun, make sure you eat before and during drinking. Food helps to slow the effects of alcohol. It is important to note that sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, combined with alcohol can produce a low blood sugar effect even greater than that caused by alcohol alone. Low blood sugar in the sun can be very harmful, causing you to feel dizzy, weak, or even lose conciseness.
3.) Safety first! Alcohol and the sun can cause you to be more prone to accidents, especially if you are cooking on an outdoor barbeque or boating. If you are on a boat, make sure you choose a designated driver who will not be drinking and wear your life vest at all times. If you are cooking outdoors, wait until after you are done to start drinking.
4.) Wear sunscreen! Sunscreen is important for anyone enjoying the summer sun, but it is especially important when mixing alcohol and the sun. Often, those that are drinking in the sun won’t even realize how sunburnt they are until it is too late! Often, when you drink alcohol in the sun, you are less aware of what is going on, and you do not realize how many hours you are spending in the sun. Mixing alcohol and the sun can cause sun poisoning, which is a severe form of sunburn. Sun poisoning can cause chills, nausea, skin redness and blistering, severe pain and swelling, headache, and dizziness. So wear your sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or heavy sweating.