The dog days of summer are approaching in Virginia Beach, VA, and our coastal climate can include extreme temperatures that can be dangerous. 

Even if you are a longtime native of our region, extreme heat can sometimes sneak up on you. Taking steps to be cautious and careful in hot weather can help to prevent heatstroke, painful sunburn and dehydration. 

Here are hot weather safety tips to help keep you safe during the hottest months of summer.

It may seem simple, but in high heat, you can get dehydrated fast. Be sure to hydrate often, even if you aren’t spending long periods of time outdoors. Avoid overindulging in coffee, alcohol or other drinks that can be dehydrating. 

Wear Protective Clothing & Sunscreen
When you head outdoors to walk your pup or enjoy a morning walk around the neighborhood, be sure to cover up in lightweight, loose fitting and light colored clothing. It’ll help your skin to breathe, keeping you cooler and helping to block the sun’s powerful rays. 

Avoid Direct Sunlight for Extended Periods
On bright, summer days, it’s best to avoid spending any extended period of time in the direct sunlight. Not only can it cause you to become overheated more quickly, but it can also cause painful sunburn that can be more dangerous than you think.

Eat Smaller Meals
Avoid eating large, heavy meals on hot days to prevent stomach discomfort. Heavy meals can cause stomach distress that is exacerbated by high heat or humidity. Fruits and vegetables are especially important in the summer months, as they often help to hydrate you and nourish you. 

Limit Your Time
When in doubt, avoid spending time outdoors on extremely hot days. If you know yourself to be sensitive to the heat, use those days to get things done inside your home. If you must head outdoors, limit your time there, and aim to head out during the coolest times of day – either first thing in the morning, or after the sun has begun to go down.