For Baby Boomers and seniors, summer is the perfect time for family fun–lots of sunshine, opportunities to play outside and plenty of excuses to eat! Unfortunately, it’s also a time when older folks can run into two hot weather problems–hyperthermia and foodborne illness.
Age-related changes to the digestive and circulatory systems, medications and chronic illnesses all collide to make older adults more susceptible to these two potentially life-threatening problems. But there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Here are 5 ways to enjoy healthy summer fun:
1. Protect family members and friends, especially youngsters and older adults, from the heat with hats, umbrellas, sun screen, sun glasses, portable canopies or shelters and light-colored cotton clothing.
2. Pack plenty of water and encourage everyone to drink often, even if not thirsty. To make water more eye- and taste-appealing, add strawberries, orange slices, mint leaves or sliced cucmbers.
3. Beware of bugs you can see by packing an insect repellent, keeping foods covered, bringing along a fly swatter and watching for ants.
4. And be particularly mindful of “bugs” you can’t see by following proper food safety guidelines (see previous blog).
5. If a cooler chest is not an option, consider taking whole raw fruits instead of cut ones, dried meats (think turkey jerky), cereal, whole-grain bread or crackers, peanut butter, raw nuts or baked chips.
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