Summer is here, which means it's time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! But as we all know, too much sun can be harmful. So in honor of UV Safety Awareness Month, AFC Urgent Care Dedham is going to explain how the UV rays from the sun can be dangerous and how you should protect yourself from getting heat exhaustion or sunstroke this summer!
Why Are UV Rays Harmful To The Body?
Getting some sun may be good for things like vitamin D, your mental health, and a nice tan, but overexposure to these rays, especially for long periods of time, can be harmful to your health in many ways. For instance, we are usually exposed to UVA and UVB rays that can cause cataracts and other eye problems, skin aging, sunburns and rashes. But, what people really underestimate is that UV rays can also cause immune system damage as well as skin cancer. Melanoma is a very common skin cancer and it’s usually caused by overexposure to UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and UV sun lamps.
We highly suggest protecting yourself from these UV rays because of the health concerns they cause. At the same time, they can also cause other issues like heat exhaustion and sunstroke, especially during a heat wave.
UV Safety Month Also Includes Sunstroke And Heat Exhaustion!
Overexposure to UV rays, especially during a heat wave can lead to heat exhaustion or sunstroke! But, these two conditions are not the same thing. Here are the differences:
- Heat exhaustion and sunstroke are both caused by extreme heat, but they’re not the same thing.
- Heat exhaustion is usually caused by strenuous activity or exercise in a hot environment. It can also be caused by dehydration and poor fluid intake, which can happen even when you’re sweating profusely. Symptoms include feeling tired, faint or dizzy, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps and headaches.
- Sunstroke is more serious than heat exhaustion because it has a fever with at least one of these symptoms: confusion; loss of consciousness; weakness or fatigue; excessive thirst; headache that gets worse rather than better; skin redness (flushed face) without sweating.
How To Protect Yourself From UV Rays, Sunstroke And Heat Exhaustion
- Know your risk: People who work or exercise outdoors are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Put safety first by planning ahead so that you can limit your exposure to extreme weather conditions such as high temperatures while staying safe at home or at work during periods when it is unsafe to be outside due to extreme temperatures.
- Protect yourself: Limit time outdoors, wear a hat and light-colored clothing, stay in shaded areas and drink plenty of fluids.
- Drink plenty of fluids and more of the ones that will hydrate you, not dehydrate you (alcohol)
- Wear a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 30 (or more). Reapply every 2 hours
- Find shade or places where they have a/c, such as malls, libraries, coffee shops, etc.
AFC Urgent Care Dedham Wants You To Avoid Heat Related Illnesses And Be Sun Safe This Summer
Fourth of July is right around the corner and we hope that you take these tips on sun safety when going to a barbeque, beach or outdoor festivity. Please remember to stay hydrated, a hat, light colored clothing (loose) and wear sunscreen to avoid the harmful UV rays, sunstroke and heat exhaustion.
AFC Urgent Care Dedham will be here in case you need us for tick bites and removals, COVID-19 testing, summer camp physicals, travel medicine and vaccinations and a whole lot more!
Walk-in any day of the week. Here for you, 7 days a week from 8am-8pm and 8am-5pm on the weekends.