With the surging temperatures of summertime, we thought it would be a good opportunity to remind everyone about some basic sun safety tips. No matter where you are, protecting yourself against the sun is crucial. Don’t let a sunburn or sunstroke ruin your week! Remember these 8 tips before heading out in the heat.
1. Wear Sunscreen
Seems obvious, right? But did you know that sunscreen needs about 30 minutes to bind to your skin before it’s effective? That means applying at least a half an hour before you head outside. Additionally, you should reapply every two hours. If you’re outside all day you’re likely to get a little sun-kissed no matter what – so don’t try to get a tan by forgoing sunscreen!
2. Hydrate Your Body
Take a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Order a glass of water with your meal. It’s especially important to drink water if you’re drinking alcohol. If you’ve stopped for patio drinks, make sure you drink water too! You should be starting and ending your day with a glass of water regardless, but if you’re outside all day, it becomes even more essential to hydrate frequently.. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible and stick with water!
3. Nourish Your Body
Keeping yourself fed is key in avoiding sunstroke. Don’t skip meals! Eat a big breakfast before heading out for the day. Pack snacks (even if you plan on eating proper meals, an emergency granola bar never hurt anyone!) Try packing snacks that help you stay hydrated – or at least don’t inhibit your hydration. That means avoiding salty snacks like chips and nuts and bringing hydrating food like fruits and veggies.
4. Dress For the Weather
Just like you wear mittens and hats in the wintertime, it’s important not to forget your summertime accessories. This means hats, sunglasses, and light clothing that protect your skin from the sun without making you too hot. You can also get bracelets that change colour to show you the UV index to remind you to apply sunscreen or find shade.
5. Limit Your Sun Exposure
The sun is hottest between 11 am and 3 pm. It’s especially important to wear sunscreen and take breaks from the sun during this time. Make sure you take an umbrella to the beach or sit in some shade off and on. Take breaks from physical activity. In extreme heat, being active puts you at risk of heatstroke. Sit out the next game of volleyball.
6. Know the Signs of Heat Stroke
Knowing the warning signs is incredibly important to prevent an accident. Some of these signs are: dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, headache, nausea, muscle aches and cramps, confusion, profuse sweating (and then no sweating), rapid heartbeat, and fainting. Dark urine means you’re dehydrated. If you notice any of these signs, drink some water and try to cool yourself down by sitting in the shade, pouring cool water on the back of your neck, and removing unnecessary layers of clothing. It’s also important you tell someone.
7. Know What To Do (Heat Stroke)
If someone tells you they feel like they’re going to faint or they have heat stroke, the first step is to sit them down before they fall down. Have them sit on the ground with their head between their knees. Get them water and cool them down. Don’t leave them unsupervised. Ask for help if you need someone else to get water while you stay by their side. When they feel a little better, get them inside or into some shade. If the person doesn’t feel better in ten to fifteen minutes, call for emergency help.
8. Know What To Do (Sunburn)
If you do get a sunburn, it’s important to treat it. Put a cool, damp cloth on your sunburnt skin to soothe it. Next, you’ll want aloe moisturizer. Staying hydrated will help it heal. Don’t pick your blisters or peel your skin – let it peel naturally. Finally, keep it covered. Don’t risk further burns by exposing it again to the sun. Play it safe and keep your burn away from the sun.
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