7 Essential Items for a Safe Summer

Jun 19, 2015

New York

When packing your bag for outdoor activities this summer, don’t forget these seven summer standbys! It is essential that you protect your skin, eyes and body from the summer sun and heat.

beach supplies such as a towel, sunglasses, and sunscreen

1. Sunscreen – “Just one blistering sunburn can increase your risk of skin cancer,” explains Dr. Shari Lipner, a dermatologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that protects the skin against both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30.

2. Sunglasses – “Overexposure to the sun not only wreaks havoc on your skin, but can also damage your eyes,” says Dr. George Cioffi, chief of ophthalmology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. “Health risks associated with overexposure to the sun include damage to the cornea, tissue growth on the surface of eyes and even cancer of the eyelids. Sun damage may also contribute to the development of cataracts.”

3. Bug Spray – Prevent itchy mosquito bites and protect your skin from illnesses caused by insect bites, such as West Nile virus (caused by mosquitoes), Lyme disease (caused by tick bites) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (caused by tick bites). You can also wear long sleeved clothing to further protect yourself.

4. Hat – Freckles on the skin may be a sign of sustained sun damage. They generally develop in sun-exposed areas such as the face, chest and arms. You can protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, long-sleeved shirt and pants.

5. Water – Hydrate! Headaches, nausea and weakness are all signs of heat exhaustion. Everyone should stay hydrated by drinking water or sports drinks. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.

6. Lip Balm (with sunscreen) - Your lips need sunscreen too! Make sure your lip balm is labeled “Broad-Spectrum SPF 30.” Skin cancer can occur on the lips, most commonly on the lower lip. In fact, these cancers are more likely to metastasize than those at most other sites.

7. Petroleum Jelly – Cuts and scrapes are common in the summer months. After cleaning the wound with mild soap and water, use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. This will prevent it from drying out and forming a scab, which would take longer to heal.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive hospitals and a leading provider of inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine. With some 2,600 beds and more than 6,500 affiliated physicians and 20,000 employees, NewYork-Presbyterian had more than 2 million visits in 2013, including close to 15,000 infant deliveries and more than 310,000 emergency department visits. NewYork-Presbyterian comprises six campuses: NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation. Affiliated with two world-renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. For more information, visit www.nyp.org.