(NC) Summer is finally here, and you’re probably ready to run out into the sun full speed. Although there are many benefits to spending time outdoors and soaking up the rays of sunshine, it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure you avoid the pain and inconvenience of a sunburn or heatstroke.
With exposure to high temperatures, you can become ill with nausea or headaches, and even experience a racing heartrate. Too much time outside without adequate sun protection can lead to burns, which can cause swelling, redness and headache or fever if the burn is severe.
Before you head out on a summer trip to the beach, cottage or campsite, John Papastergiou, a pharmacist at Shoppers Drug Mart, shares a few easy tips that can help you enjoy the sun without the burn:
Sunscreen, sunscreen and sunscreen again.
Soaking up summer rays can help you load up on vitamin D or “the sunshine vitamin,” which is great for your overall health. But you need to ensure you’ve lathered up with some sunscreen. You’ll want to invest in one that’s at least 30 SPF, as this will block 97 per cent of UVB rays. Be sure to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before heading outside and reapply every two hours or right after swimming or excessive sweating.
When you’re outside in the sun for an extended period of time, amp up your hydration to help prevent heatstroke. Aim to drink about two to three litres of water per day and come prepared to the beach or pool with a refillable water bottle to sip on. Heatstroke can also be a result of salt depletion, so you’ll want to make sure you have sports drinks or fruit juice in your cooler so you can load up on electrolytes.
Bring on the shade.
Try to break up your sun exposure with periods of sitting in a shaded area. If there are no shaded areas available, protect yourself with a wide-brimmed hat or visor. Wearing loose-fitting, breathable clothing is also a great way to stay cool and shield yourself from overheating.
Knowing the risks associated with sun and heat exposure is your first step to staying safe and healthy. For more information on the best products, tips and advice to avoid heat-related illnesses, speak with your local pharmacist.