Feeling hot hot hot?! How to stay safe in the sun

Health
07 June 2018
Most people like to get outdoors in the sunny summer weather, but it's important to look after your wellbeing in hot conditions.

Now that summer is here, it's likely that you're looking forward to barbecues, beach days, picnics and great days out. But for everybody, young or old, it's important to stay protected from the sun.

In the first instance, as anyone who has experienced it knows, sunburn can be a terribly unpleasant thing and will force those suffering it to spend the next day or two indoors. Really severe sunburn can cause blisters and lasting damage that brings days of searing pain.

Worse still, the long-term effects of skin damage can be deadly. Skin cancer can be treated if spotted early, but when it is not, it can be much more serious.

Always use sun cream to reduce the risk of sunburn

Not surprisingly, you will be much more vulnerable to being burnt and suffering long-term health consequences if you have pale skin and are exposed to very fierce sun. A shirt and sun hat immediately reduces the areas of the body that can be exposed to the sun. At the same time, sun cream is vital too, as is regular re-application.

The key with sun cream is not to be too formulaic. For the average person, sun cream should be factor 30 and applied every two or three hours. However, it may need to be a higher factor and applied more frequently if you are very fair.

If you do feel yourself beginning to burn, cover up or head indoors for a while to get a bit of shade. The hottest parts of the day tend to be between 11am and 3pm, so try to avoid being in direct sunlight during these times.

Make sure to apply plenty to young grandchildren too, as young skin is just as sensitive to the sun as older skin.

Anyone who goes swimming outdoors should also make sure they apply sun cream, both before and after going in the water. Wet skin is more vulnerable to the hot sun, so it's essential that you're thorough when applying your sun cream.

Don't forget a good after-sun lotion too, so that if you do catch the sun - and who hasn't done their best at piling on the sun cream only to miss a bit of their face? - you can limit the skin damage and save yourself some pain.

Invest in a good pair of sunglasses

Sunglasses are also important. UV radiation from the sun can have long-term effects, such as causing cataracts. A good pair of shades not only makes seeing more comfortable, but will help preserve your eyesight.

If you already wear glasses, get some prescription sunglasses, or a photochromic pair that goes dark when exposed to bright light.

Stay hydrated

Another summer danger is dehydration. Always make sure you get lots of fluids on board while out in the sun.

If you are just enjoying the garden, of course, you can pop inside for a glass of water. But if you are out walking in the countryside or anywhere else far from a tap, make sure you take plenty to drink with you. Plan your route so you can get back to civilisation before you are likely to run out too. If you want to refill a water bottle from a stream, use water purifying tablets, so pack these in your bag too to open up your options.

Naturally, many will enjoy a cool beer or glass of wine in the sun, but make sure your alcohol intake is supplemented with water to avoid drying out, or you will end up with a horrible headache, and potentially end up feeling disoriented and confused too.

How to avoid sunstroke

Finally, people should also be aware of the dangers of sunstroke, which can occur with too much exposure to the sun. Men over 50 are among those more vulnerable, particularly those who are balding. Once again, a good sun hat is the answer.

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the sun without feeling sore afterwards and look after your long-term health at the same time. That way, you can safely enjoy everything the summer has to offer..

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