With summer in full swing, we’re spending more time outdoors while soaking up the sun. But did you know that too much time in the sun can be a really bad thing? Summer sun exposure is linked to a number of short and long-term health issues, including sunburns, skin cancer, skin aging, eye problems, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It’s important to remember not to lose sight of UV safety during your summer fun, especially since it’s UV Safety Awareness month!
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford understands that everyone wants to enjoy a summer filled with sunny days, which is why we created a guide on the dangers of overexposure to UV rays and ways to prevent heat exhaustion and sunstroke.
UV Rays Do More Than Just Give You A “Tan”
If you’re like most people during the summertime, we’re betting that you’re excited to lay out on the beach and get a “tan”. But before you do, let’s talk about UV rays and how they can do more than just give you a tan.
UV rays can actually cause more harm than good, especially if you’re not UV protected or you choose to get UV rays from an artificial way, such as a tanning bed or from a UV sun lamp. The truth is, an overexposure can lead to skin aging, skin cancer, cataracts and other eye problems and a weakened immune system.
Lastly, a prolonged exposure to these rays can also cause conditions such as, sunstroke and heat exhaustion. So, the next time you go outside without UV protection ask yourself this,
“Is your tan really worth it?”.
Heat Exhaustion And Sunstroke Are Two Entirely Different Conditions
Heat Exhaustion and Sunstroke are two very different but similar conditions that occur when the body cannot cope with excessive heat and fluid loss. Heat exhaustion is a mild form of heat illness, while sunstroke is a more serious condition.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, dizziness or light-headedness, muscle cramps and paleness (pale skin). If you experience these symptoms it’s important to cool down as soon as possible by moving out of direct sunlight into a cool area; removing clothing to allow your skin to breathe; drinking plenty of fluids such as water or sports drinks; resting until better.
Symptoms of sunstroke include: nausea or vomiting; headaches that become worse over time; irritability (irritability); drowsiness/lethargy (lethargy); confusion/fainting episodes(confusion). For those experiencing these symptoms immediate medical attention should be sought out because it can lead to heat stroke which has serious consequences including death if not treated quickly enough
How To Prevent Heatstroke, Heat Exhaustion And Protect From UV Rays
- Avoid strenuous activity in hot weather; rest often or take breaks if you must work outside during the day. Limit your time outdoors between 10am and 4pm when UV levels are highest - this is when people are most vulnerable to sunburns!
- Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30! Proper protection from UV rays is crucial to avoiding sunburns and the long-term skin damage they cause, as well as reducing your risk of melanoma, which is a deadly form of skin cancer.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can result in heat exhaustion and heat stroke, so you should keep your body well-hydrated.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible—or even better yet, stay indoors during those peak hours for maximum protection against harmful UV rays! If you do have to go outside during these times, make sure to pack some sunscreen, wear loose clothes and bring a big bottle of water!
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford Encourages You To Stay UV Protected And Sun Safe This Summer!
The 4th of July is right around the corner! Whatever you end up doing, don't let the heat and UV rays keep you from having fun this summer! Just be aware of your body's needs and make sure to protect yourself during any outdoor activities. You will have a much nicer time if you take the extra precautions to avoid heatstroke, heat exhaustion and sunburns.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford will be here in case you need us for tick bites and removals, travel vaccinations and medicines, COVID-19 testing and a whole lot more, 7 days a week! We are open weekdays from 8am-8pm and 8am-5pm on the weekends.