Summertime often gives families a chance to get outside more, whether it’s a picnic or a day at the beach. It’s important to get in the habit of making good choices when you’re going to be outside in the bright summer sun.

  1. Wear Sunscreen

Damage from UV rays can result in sunburn, skin cancer, heat rash, or premature aging. But luckily, it’s completely preventable. The CDC recommends wearing a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 combined with layered clothes. You can also check the UV index before applying sunscreen. When there’s a higher UV index, you’re at risk of a more severe sunburn and therefore should wear a higher SPF and maybe even wear a hat or plan on staying in the shade while outside. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, even on an overcast day up to 80 percent of UV rays can penetrate clouds. So if you’re going to be outside for more than 10-15 minutes, It’s best to be prepared.

  • Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated in the summer is important, whether you’re at the beach, playing sports, gardening, or just going for a walk. The American Heart Association says that keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently. Dehydration can cause any number of problems like headaches or even heat stroke. John Batson, M.D., a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., says that “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated”. Each person’s daily water intake needs may vary, but Mayo Clinic suggests about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids for women daily.

  • Wear Sunglasses

Sun damage doesn’t just affect your skin, it affects your eyes too. And according to healthline, not all sunglasses can protect your eyes from harmful UV light. So when shopping for sunglasses, it’s important to look for a pair with a tag that promotes their UV-blocking capabilities. Dr. Amanda Rights, an optometrist and brand ambassador for the company that makes Transitions lenses, told Healthline to “…only buy lenses that provide at least 99 to 100 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Even better, look for shades that block 75 to 90 percent of visible light.”