Safety First – Sun Protection

Welcome to another edition of Safety First. Today we are going to be talking about Sun Protection.

The sun is a wonderful thing, but also something that can cause much pain if protection is missed.

Growing up playing ball all summer long, we didn’t use much sunscreen. As a result, I had my first “suspicious” mole removed at the age of 22. There was nothing there, but is certainly a wake up call. I have sunscreen everywhere, and use it everyday 365 Days a year!

I have collected some great sun protection tips from many sources (listed below) and here we go!

  • Sun screen should be worn everyday. You can get a burn on a cloudy day, and in the middle of winter. Make it part of your daily routine and it will never be missed.
  • Use a sunscreen that contains antioxidants, it will moisturize your skin as well as protect it.
  • Use the right SPF for you! Here is a great guide. Take the time to learn, and save yourself the burn later.
  • Reapply when you get out of a pool/lake or use a towel. Also reapply if you are active. Sweat can break down sunscreen.
  • Drink lots of water. Hydrating your skin will help prevent a burn.
  • Wear a hat!!! If your head burns, you can form bald spots. That is not a fun thing to have. Keep a hat in your car for each member of your family.
  • Keep travel size sunscreen everywhere. I have one in my purse, car, at my desk and in every bathroom we have.
  • Wear sun protective clothing. Sunscreen can wash off, and sun protective clothing gives you another layer of protection. Most summer weight clothes let in an amazing amount of sun, giving you barely any protection.

So what do you do when you do get burnt?

  • Get OUT of the sun. Being in the sun will only make it worse.
  • Check your burn for blisters. If you have large blisters, go see a doctor. Infection can set in quickly on an open blister.
  • Take a cool shower or bath. Remember, it will seem cooler than it is, that is because you are burnt. Do not take a hot shower, this can cause more pain. Don’t use soap, as this can cause irritation.
  • Apply Aloe Vera. This can help sooth the burning, and pain. This can also help prevent a blister from forming.
  • Take an over the counter pain reliever. Get ahead of the pain, not behind it.
  • Wear loose clothing, and drink lots of water. Stay as cool as you can, and stay out of the sun.
  • If your sun burn swells be sure to keep an eye on it. Swelling can constrict blood vessels. This can be dangerous.

What about Heatstroke?? Heatstroke is when the body cannot regulate it’s own temperature.

The symptoms of heatstroke are serious, and are a medical emergency. If you have someone who presents these symptoms get them to a doctor:

  • unconsciousness for more than a few seconds.
  • confusions, restlessness and/or anxiety.
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heavy sweating
  • Head red skin. Also dry skin, even in the armpits.

Always remember that the sun is great, but you protect yourself and your family. Burns are not fun, and quite painful. The right steps can protect your family now and in the future.

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