Many don’t realize the health mistakes they make during the summer. A majority of these snafus are even things I grew up doing as a child – but now I know better! It’s easy to overlook health during the summer months, when all you want to do is be outside, soaking up the sunshine and having fun with family and friends. However, some of these snafus have serious health implications that you need to be aware of.

Here is a break down of the most common summer health snafus and how to avoid them:

Snafu 1: Eating too much fruit
Even though healthy and in season, it can lead to excess sugar intake. Your daily sugar budget should be 25 grams tops – and yes, this includes fruit!

Snafu 2: Sipping in the sun
Alcohol consumption can increase during the summer months, especially when drinking outside – leading to dehydration. Keep count of your cocktails, and make sure to drink one glass of water for every cocktail you have.

Snafu 3: Overgrilling
Burning your meat releases HCAs and PAH’s which are carcinogenics. Flip your meat more, and add spices to counteract burning and lower the risk.

Snafu 4: Overlooking bug bites
Bug bites and summer go together like surf boards and sunscreen. However, they should never be overlooked. you should always pay attention to bug bites that worsen. 

Snafu 5: Lounging in wet bathing suit
Leaving your bathing suit on for too long can cause bacteria buildup, leading to infections. Make sure to change out of your suit as soon as you get home. No lounging on the back deck in a wet suit!

Snafu 6: Stopping Vitamin D in summer
It is a myth that the sun alone can give you the amount vitamin D that your body needs. It is important to continue to eat and drink vitamin D nutrient foods, even throughout the summer.

Snafu 7:  Jumping in the lawn sprinkler
While it can be a lot of fun, you should not go barefoot on a lawn 48 hours after it has been chemically treated. The exposure to the chemicals can lead to serious issues.

Snafu 8: Picnicking in the park
Many parks have picnic tables, however many of the older outdoor wood products that we use today still contain trace amounts of arsenic. Arsenic can leach out when the treated wood gets wet and spread to toys and skin. Bring your own blankets and chairs!

Snafu 9: Gardening in shorts
While it may be hot, it is important to keep yourself covered to protect yourself from insects and poisonous plants. Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks by wearing long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.

Snafu 10:  Sitting in the shade
Although seeking shade is still better than sitting in direct sunlight, indirect or diffused UV light can be just as dangerous and damaging to your skin. You must apply SPF anytime you plan on going outside, even in the shade.