By: Alison Dunn Jun 08, 2010
  Editorial

I love summer. I really do – it's by far my favourite season of all. At the end of June, I still get that same feeling I got as a kid: Yahoo! It's summer vacation time!

Maybe it's just me, but I find that the pace of life slows down during summer. Even for those of us who still work in the summer, the workload doesn't seem quite as overwhelming. Various co-workers are out of the office on holiday, and then it's our turn for a holiday. Every so often we might even hear someone say, "Let's wait until September before we start that project."

Sadly, I think my brain goes on holidays in the summer too. Every summer I do the same stupid things over and over again. I sit out by the pool for 20 minutes one day without sunscreen and end up with a sunburn. Or I forget to put insect repellant on and get eaten alive while camping.

And I'm not the only one with a stupid summer story to tell. A friend once told me of the time she made a "pit stop" in the bushes while camping and ended up with a bad bout of poison ivy. (Not me, I swear!) Or another that took the kids to the zoo for the day but forgot water bottles and everyone ended up dehydrated.

That's the problem with summer – it seduces you with its sunshiny beauty and you forget to take the necessary precautions. You just want to run outside screaming, "I'm free! It's summer!" and not slather on the sunscreen or insect repellant. You want to be spontaneous and jump in the car or on the bike for an adventure, and leave the backpack and water bottle at home. (To learn about the five most common summer health hazards and how to prevent them, don't forget to read "Summertime safety" this week on Primacy Life.)

But not this year. This year, I've made a vow not to let these foibles and follies get the best of me or my health. This year, I promise to put on sunscreen every day and not just throw on my bathing suit and run out to the pool. This year, I promise to bring long sleeved clothes and (safe) insect repellant with me when I'm camping or at the cottage so I don't get bites. And this year, I vow to never, never, ever make a pit stop in the bushes. (Although I still swear it wasn't me!)

Yes, summer, you've seduced me long enough. And while I know I'm not immune to your charms, I'm still going to take the right precautions to stay healthy and happy this summer. I hope everyone reading this does, too.

Now get on out there and enjoy the sunshine!

A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.