Pomerene Hospital Blog
Summer Safety: Avoiding the pain of too much fun in the sun!
As summer time approaches it is important to be prepared for some minor ailments. Sunburn and dehydration can decrease the fun of our outdoor time. Many of us have experienced one or all of these summer discomforts to some degree. Knowing how to treat these ailments at home and when to go to the hospital can improve your summer fun.
With the temperatures warming and the sun beckoning, sunburn shoulders, and legs loom on the horizon. Remembering simple tips can help keep you enjoying those summer activities instead of visiting the doctor.
Summer Sun Safety Tips
- Sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater is essential.
- Making sure you reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating will keep the protection strong.
- Don’t forget lip balm and sunglasses to protect these sensitive areas.
- Also, avoid the hottest part of the day between 10am and 4pm.
If you do develop a sunburn, relief can be obtained by:
- Using cool showers, baths, or washcloths.
- If there are no blisters, moisturizing creams, Vitamin C or E and Cortisone creams can help ease symptoms.
- Adding extra fluid to your day and Ibuprofen or Tylenol can also make your days and nights more comfortable.
- Loose cotton clothing prevents rubbing and also protects from further sun exposure.
- Avoid products with lidocaine or benzocaine, butter, Vaseline, or oil-based product as these can create infection.
- Avoid peeling the skin of blisters. Your skin is the body’s firs line of defense and if it is gone you are at increased risk for infections.
- Avoid giving aspirin to children as this can cause a serious reaction.
Sunburn and Dehydration
Sunburn and warm temperatures can sometimes lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. All age groups are susceptible but extremes of age, outdoor
workers or athletes, and those who are unable to get fluids all have increased risks. Early signs include thirst and dark urine. Also dizziness headache,
tiredness, loss of strength or small amounts of urine can be signs. Here are some tips to that will help you stay hydrated!
- Drinking water, 6- 8 oz glasses per day.
- Drinking before, during and after being outside is important, especially during the hot weather.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeinated or fruit drinks as these all add to dehydration.
- Adding fruit to your water or eating foods that have high water content such as watermelon, tomatoes, or lettuce all aid in staying hydrated.
Severe dehydration with extreme tiredness, confusion weak or rapid pulse and loss of consciousness is an emergency and needs medical attention.
If dehydration continues or you stay in the heat it can progress to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Symptoms are similar to dehydration but more severe. The best prevention is staying cool and hydrated. But, if you do develop heat exhaustion or heatstroke lie down in a cool area, drink fluids (small sips every 15 minutes), remove unnecessary clothing and cool the skin (use cool water and fanning). If no improvement in symptoms go to the Emergency Department.
We encourage you to follow these helpful tips and hope you have a wonderful summer!
Blog written by: Candy Yoder, CNP, Pomerene Express Care