Staying Safe in the Sun

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Sun Safety

Keeping Safe and Healthy in the Sun

As the weather heats up and we come out of our winter blahs into the beautiful sunshine, we need to keep a few things in mind to stay safe and healthy in the sun.  You see all the ads for sunscreen, reminding you how you need to slather it on to keep your skin from being burnt.  There’s more to worry about than a basic sunburn though.  Check out our guide below to keep yourself safe this summer.

Sunburn or Sun Poisoning?

We’ve all had a little bit of a sunburn.  Your skin aches, you feel dry, and in a day or two you are back up to par.  There’s not much to it.  Your skin takes a little damage but that’s about it.  A sunburn is pretty basic and easy to manage.  A bit more water and lotion on your burn and you have the basics covered.  But when does a sunburn become sun poisoning?  Sun poisoning brings painful blisters, swelling and fever, as well as nausea, headache, and dehydration.  You can tell you have sun poisoning because your skin is a dark red, almost purple, color, and you feel a bit off.  When you realize you have had too much sun, it’s often too late.  Get out of the sun and into a shaded, cool room.  A cool, but not cold, shower will help reduce the body temperature.  Take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the pain, and drink lots of water.  For the most part, you should be able to take care of sun poisoning on your own.  However, there are times when you should go to the doctor.  If you have swelling, especially on your face, or you have a large area that is burned and/or blistered, seek medical attention immediately.  Mental confusion, severe dehydration, fever and chills are also signs that it’s time to get help.

sunburn blisters

What’s Sun Stroke?

Sun stroke is the most dangerous of the sun and heat related illnesses.  With a sun stroke the body’s temperature goes above 104°F, not from a fever but from being in the heat.  Sweating stops, so the body is not cooling itself off, and the skin becomes dry.  Other symptoms of sunstroke are a fast, weak heartbeat, muscle cramps, hyperventilating, and loss of coordination.  Treatment for sun stroke is imperative.   Get the person to a cool place and start them drinking water.  A cool shower can help bring down the body’s internal temperature.  Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect sun stroke.

Staying Safe

With all the activities you can have over the summer, the hardest can be staying safe.  Use high quality sunblock, applying often, to save your skin from burns.  Keep hydrated with water, not soda.  Water with some lemon in it and even a pinch of salt will keep you hydrated better than other premixed sports drinks.  And when you feel like you are getting too hot, get out of the heat and into somewhere cool.  Have a great summer!


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