I was going to make some joke about this summer's heat wave, but the sun and soaring temperatures can be serious business for travelers basking in Florida's tropical climate.
According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults 25 to 29 years old, and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 29. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.
I'll admit that I'm not the poster child for following these guidelines, especially when it comes to eating and resting, but it's never too late to start, right?
•Watch what you eat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers this eating suggestion for vacationers: Sample small amounts of high-calorie foods. You don't have to avoid them, just reduce the amount.
•Drink plenty of water. Children become dehydrated more easily than adults, so pay extra attention to the youngsters. Drink bottled water, especially if you are in a foreign country where tap water may not be safe to drink.
•Wash your hands often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the most important ways to reduce transmission of infectious disease is to wash hands carefully and frequently with soap and water.
•Get adequate sleep. Do your best to stay on a regular sleep schedule. Being awake and alert can help you get the most enjoyment out of your trip.
•Pack a first-aid kit. Make sure it includes bandages, sterile gauze pads, instant cold packs, a thermometer, scissors, tweezers, a needle, moistened towelettes, blister pads, assorted sizes of safety pins and latex gloves.
•Protect yourself from insect bites. Use insect repellent that contains DEET (30 to 50 percent) or picaridin (up to 15 percent).
•Protect yourself from the sun. Liberally apply a broad-spectrum, water–resistant sunscreen of at least SPF 15 at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.
POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA