As we kick off the holiday weekend and enter into summer, it is vital to remember to stay safe in the sun whether you’re at work or the beach.
- Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen. It’s the mantra of mothers everywhere, but should be remembered every time you are out in the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that about one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. So lather up and don’t forget to get behind your ears! Just make sure that your sunscreen offers the following:
- Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher
- Water resistance
- Wear Protective Equipment. This can be baseball caps, air-cooled garments, or wetted garments. Anything to keep the sun off you and your body temperature normal.
- Get Hydrated, and Stay that Way. Drinking enough water is especially important when exerting yourself in the sun. As your body heats up, you begin to sweat and are more susceptible to heatstroke or serious cases of dehydration. Drinking water and sports drinks to replenish electrolytes is crucial when spending prolonged hours sweating. You should drink about a cup of water for every 20 minutes spent working in the sun.
- Know when it’s too Hot. Heat stroke is serious and can be fatal. Be aware of the temperature and know when to get to shade. Things like snow, sand, and water can amplify the affects of the sun, the best remedy is shade. It’s smart to keep ice packs handy when spending time in the sun to stop overheating. Also make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of heatstroke:
- High Body Temperature
- Altered Mental State or Behavior
- Flushed Skin
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Rapid Breathing
- Racing Heart Rate
- Take Breaks. When working in the sun all day it is important to take breaks in the shade. Being in the sun for a full eight-hour day will not only leave you feeling drained but increases your chances of heat stroke, sunburn, or skin cancer immensely.
Just remember Water, Shade, Sunscreen and you can prevent heat illness.