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Summer sun safety: protect your skin and eyes from the heat

sunsafety

Cool shades and a stylish hat aren’t just summertime accessories—they can also keep you healthy in the hot summer months. It’s always important to protect your skin from the sun, and equally important to properly protect your body during hot weather.

  • Stay shady—While you might be tempted to bask in the sunshine, limit your time exposed directly to rays. Seek shaded or air conditioned areas such as libraries or malls and, whenever possible, schedule outdoor events for the cooler, early parts of the morning. The sun’s rays are at their strongest at midday, making that an ideal time to not be outside. No matter what time of day it is, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes prior to exposure and needs to be re-applied every two hours or immediately after swimming, toweling off or sweating a great deal – many people put it on once and forget that it needs to be reapplied!

  • Stay hydrated—treat yourself to water and juice, but stay away from alcohol and caffeine, which actually dehydrates your body.
  • Stay light—if you’ve ever felt the heat rising from blacktop, you know that dark colors retain heat. Keep your summer clothes light-colored to reflect heat and lightweight to avoid getting overheated. Wear a brimmed hat or sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. In addition to preventing squint-induced wrinkles, protecting your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays helps prevent cataracts from forming.
  • Stay sweaty—when your activities do put you out in the sun, be aware of the signs of heat stroke: altered mental state/confusion, nausea and lack of sweat. If you are experiencing these symptoms or see someone else experiencing them, seek medical attention immediately. Remember, if it’s hot and you’re not sweating, something might be wrong.

Summer fun can still be safe and include sunshine, as long as you keep the above tips in mind. What are your favorite ways to stay safe and beat the heat? Let us know in the comments.

Hydrate the right way: ways to getting your daily intake of water

Your body needs water. Your body is made up of 75 percent water and constantly needs more of it. We lose water through breathing (water expelled from lungs), urination, defecation and sweat. If your body does not have the right amount of water you will feel it. The common signs and symptoms of not having enough water in your body (dehydration) are:

  • Thirst, excessive thirst
  • Fatigue, tired
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness

Many individuals wait until they feel thirsty to drink water. Thirst may or may not be a reliable gauge of your water needs. Many people are not very good at sensing thirst and sometimes confuse thirst with hunger which causes them to eat instead of drink water. Continue Reading »

How to avoid heat exhaustion

Dr. Kirsten Larson, an Affinity Health System urgent care doctor, discusses the signs of heat exhaustion, how to treat heat exhaustion and how to avoid heat exhaustion.

 

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