With Saskatchewan’s weather being a little crazy and you never really knowing when the snow will come back we all try to spend as much time as we can outdoors in the summer heat. Whether it’s mowing grass, working in the garden, going for a walk, playing with kids or just working on your tan, sometimes the thoughts of safety are pushed to the back burner when our brain is focused in on all the fun we are having.
- Limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 a.m-4 p.m., when the sun is the strongest.
- Dress appropriately, wear light colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothes and appropriate footwear.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect the face, neck, and ears.
- Apply about a palm-full of sunscreen with protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher to dry skin 30 minutes before going out into the sun. Reapply sunscreen liberally every two hours or more often if participating in water sports.
- Reduce the risk of dehydration by drinking plenty of water; don’t wait until you’re thirsty! Keep a water bottle close at hand and drink often. If you are very active for an hour or more and sweat profusely, you may want to drink something with added electrolytes such as Gatorade or PowerAde
- Pay attention to your body’s signals, take it slow and rest when you need to.
- Be sensible about the amount of time you spend in the sun. Avoid over-exposure that will result in sunburned skin.
- If you become sunburned, calm skin irritation and heat by taking cool baths then applying a moisturizing skin cream that contains aloe.
- If you feel light-headed, confused, weak or faint, you should seek a cool place immediately and get help.
By admitting that we are not invincible to the sun and protecting ourselves we can all avoid the painful sunburns that I admittedly have already had this summer. Trust me, no one will make fun of the sun safety expert and if they do, the last laugh is on their burnt skin not yours!