Special Report

What You Should Never Do When It's Hot Outside

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1. Neglect sunscreen on parts of the body

One of the most important and simplest things anyone can do to protect themselves from sun damage when outside is applying sunscreen — everywhere that’s exposed. “People are getting better at understanding how important sunscreen is,” Dr. Simmons said. “We see [fewer] sunburn cases than we used to.” But many still forget to apply it on their feet, ears, top of the head, and back of the legs, she noted. Oftentimes, they fall asleep laying on their backs and wake up with burns, Simmons added. “At the very least, don’t forget to wear a big hat — they are awesome at shielding the head and shoulders.” For more health tips, here are 50 health tips everyone should know.

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2. Take your shirt off

If you’re enjoying a day out in the sun, or go out for a run or bike ride, or simply mow the lawn, it’s often fun to take your shirt off as it feels cooler. But it’s not worth the risk of sunburn, according to Dr. Simmons. “I always tell my patients to get a very thin long-sleeve white shirt, preferably with UV protection.” They don’t make you feel hot; are loose enough so air still flows over the skin; they cover more skin area; and the lighter colors repels the sun, she noted. There are plenty of other ways to keep your skin healthy. Here are 17 skin care habits recommended by dermatologists.

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3. Dry your clothes out

Wearing wet clothes can be dangerous in the winter but may be pleasant in the summer. “[Damp/Wet clothes] can help keep you cool,” Dr. Simmons said. “You’re not going to get a rash, despite what you may have heard.” And if you are on a hike somewhere, you may actually want to dip your shirt in a river and wear it wet. Cotton shirts, for example, are great at keeping moisture, keeping people cool for longer. This may be an especially good tip for people who live in the 50 hottest cities in America.

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4. Forget to drink enough water

It sounds easy enough — drink a lot of water. But many people don’t and get in trouble for it. “We see a lot of dehydrated people,” Dr. Simmons said. Dehydrations is more dangerous than most people may realize. It may cause various problems — from mild conditions such as headaches to serious complications such as swelling of the brain. “If you only rely on feeling thirsty, you’re going to be dehydrated,” Simmons added. It’s not always the first indication of dehydration. It’s recommended that you carry a water bottle with you at all times, and don’t forget water for your pets. Here are the signs you’re way too dehydrated.

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5. Drink caffeinated beverages instead of water

“Caffeine does not count as water,” Dr. Simmons said. Many people think that sodas, energy drinks, and large coffees will keep them hydrated, but this is not really the case, she noted. They may have a mild diuretic effect, making you go to the bathroom more often, leading to some loss of fluid. While research shows caffeinated drinks in moderation don’t actually cause dehydration, Simmons suggests to have double the amount of water if you choose to drink caffeinated drinks. Coffee has been a divisive topic of late. There are at least 18 reasons to drink coffee for your health and about as many signs you’re drinking too much coffee.