Sizzling Summer Safety

Summer Survival Kit
What You Need for a Sun-Safe Season

Sizzling Summer Safety

We love summer, but with it comes an increased risk of sun poisoning, heat-related illness, dehydration, and skin cancer. In fact, skin cancer is the most prevalent disease in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there is a higher number of diagnoses each year compared to all other types of cancer combined. The majority of nonmelanoma skin cancers, accounting for around 90 percent, are linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Today we’re sharing prevention strategies, signs of heat-related illness, and recommended products to BE KIND to your skin. So, grab some shades and maybe even your favorite floppy sun hat because it’s time to soak up the sun and HAVE FUN this summer!

The Signs of Heat-Related Illness and Sun Damage – What We ALREADY Know

  1. Heat Stroke: Heat stroke is a severe condition that occurs when the body’s temperature regulation system fails due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention. Symptoms include high body temperature, rapid pulse, dizziness, confusion, and hot, dry skin.
  2. Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can progress to heat stroke if not addressed. It typically occurs due to dehydration and prolonged exposure to heat. Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, nausea, headache, and pale, cool, and moist skin.
  3. Sun Poisoning: Sun poisoning refers to an extreme sunburn reaction that can cause more severe symptoms than a typical sunburn. Symptoms include blistering, swelling, redness, pain, and sometimes fever and chills. It is important to seek medical attention if severe symptoms occur.
  4. Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells, usually caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Best Prevention Methods – What We NEED to Know

Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Prevention:

  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid excessive heat: Limit your time in direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day, usually between 10 am and 4 pm.
  • Dress appropriately: Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing to help your body stay cool.
  • Take breaks and seek shade: Rest in shaded or air-conditioned areas regularly, especially during intense physical activity.
  • Use cooling measures: Use fans, take cool showers, or apply cold compresses to lower your body temperature.

Sun Poisoning Prevention:

  • Wear protective clothing: Cover your skin with tightly woven, lightweight clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Apply sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF of 30 or above and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
  • Seek shade: Limit direct exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  • Be cautious with medications: Some medications can increase sun sensitivity, so consult your healthcare provider and read the labels for precautions.

Skin Cancer Prevention:

  • Practice sun-safe habits: Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, wear protective clothing, seek shade, and avoid tanning beds.
  • Perform regular skin self-exams: Check your skin for any new or changing moles, spots, or growths, and consult a dermatologist if you notice any concerning changes.
  • Get regular skin cancer screenings: Visit a dermatologist for professional skin cancer screenings, especially if you have a higher risk or a family history of the disease. Annual skin checks screen for different types of skin cancer.
  • Be aware of the UV index: Check the UV index in your area and plan outdoor activities accordingly. Higher UV index levels indicate an increased risk of sun damage.

10 Must-Haves to Enjoy the Sunshine Safely – What We SHOULD Know

  1. Cooling Towel: A cooling towel is a great way to keep your body temperature down. Simply wet the towel, wring it out, and place it around your neck or on your forehead for instant relief from heat.
  2. Sunscreen: Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Check out the Wellness Wednesday Sun Safety Blog for our sunscreen recommendations.
  3. Sun-Protective Clothing: Invest in lightweight, breathable clothing with built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to shield your skin from the sun’s rays. Look for fashionable options such as sun hats, long-sleeved shirts, and pants designed for sun protection.
  4. UV-Blocking Sunglasses: Wear stylish sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful UV radiation. Look for designs that suit your style while providing adequate coverage.
  5. Lip Balm with SPF: Protect your lips from sunburn and dryness with a lip balm that contains SPF. Opt for flavored or tinted options for added fun.
  6. Portable Shade Canopy: If you’re planning outdoor activities, a portable shade canopy or umbrella can provide a cool and shaded area to relax and protect yourself from the sun.
  7. Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle with you. Look for insulated options that keep your drink cold for longer periods, making it more refreshing under the hot sun.
  8. Wide-brimmed Hat: A wide-brimmed hat not only adds a touch of style to your outfit but also provides shade for your face, neck, and ears.
  9. Mist Fan: Beat the heat with a portable misting fan. These handheld devices spray a refreshing mist while providing a cooling breeze.
  10. Aloe Vera Gel: In case of sunburn or skin irritation, keep a soothing and hydrating aloe vera gel on hand to provide relief and promote skin healing.

We hope you found this week’s Summer Safety Blog on heat-related illness, heat stroke, exhaustion, sun poisoning, and skin cancer prevention enlightening and helpful. By implementing the suggested preventive measures and exploring the recommended products, you can enjoy the sun while keeping yourself safe and protected. Remember to stay hydrated, seek shade during peak hours, use sunscreen, and wear protective clothing. Stay sun-smart and kind, and have a wonderful time under the sun!

Published on June 21, 2023

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