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Keep your cool while enjoying summer gardening

While planting a tree, it’s important to water the roots. It’s also important to keep yourself hydrated, particularly during the summer.
While planting a tree, it’s important to water the roots. It’s also important to keep yourself hydrated, particularly during the summer. MCT

Yes, it’s hot out there, but sometimes you just want or need to get outside and do stuff. Gardening, mowing or just getting some sunshine — it’s all part of enjoying the outdoors, even if it is the middle of summer in South Mississippi.

You can enjoy the summer and still maintain safety by following a few tips.

Keep water handy

Staying hydrated is one of the most important ways you can stay safe outside during the hottest months of the year. Don’t wait until your throat feels parched. Drink plenty of water, and keep it nearby. Remember, as we age, we lose our ability to conserve water, so dehydration can sneak up quicker on seniors. Take cool water with you as you drive on errands, too.

Use sun protection

Of course, use sunscreen and wear a hat, but sun protection includes taking care of your eyes. Wear sunglasses outside to shield your eyes from UV rays and reduce irritation. You’ll also be able to better see your tasks at hand without the glare.

Tell someone

If you’re going to be outside for an extended time, let a friend, family member or neighbor know. Speaking of your neighbors, get to know them. Not only could you make new friends, you can feel more secure knowing someone close by could check on you occasionally.

Dress appropriately

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting, light-colored clothes when working outside. Make sure your shoes provide stability and fit well. Slippers, flip flops and ragged old favorites might be easy to slip into to, but they also can create a stumbling risk.

Who you gonna call?

Keep a list of emergency numbers posted in an easily accessed area, such as the kitchen.

Don’t bug me

Use bug spray when gardening or doing other chores outside to reduce the chance of contracting West Nile or encephalitis from mosquitoes, one of the more persistent pests here on the Coast.

Made in the shade

If possible, do chores in the shade. And take breaks as often as you need to.

Tammy Smith: 228-896-2130, @Simmiefran1

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