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Sun Smart

Beat the heat

Most people look forward to summer. 
It is a time to get outdoors and make the most of the warm sunny days. 
Be nice to your body - 
drink lots of water and take frequent breaks. 

Follow these pointers to beat the heat: 

Drink plenty of water.
Sport drinks and fruit juices are OK
but you have to drink more of them to get a comparable amount of water into your system.
 Beer causes dehydration,
and drinks with caffeine remove fluid from your body.

Take a break
 and drink water.

Dizziness, fatigue, flushed skin, and a dry mouth are all symptoms of dehydration.
When you lose too much water your skin immediately flushes. 

When you're dizzy, weak, or lethargic you've lost about 3% of your body fluid.
At 5% you feel confused. 
At 6% your heart races. 
Once you've lost 7% of the water in your body, you'll pass out.

When it's really steamy, you should be consuming a pint of water every 30 minutes or so.


Keep salty and revitalizing snacks such as nuts,
dried fruit and energy bars
All handy to replenish what you lose as you sweat.

Give your body a chance to cool down.

A person with heat stroke will have a high body temperature and their body goes into shock.
Heat stroke causes delirium and possibly vomiting. At this point the body won't absorb water fast enough. Drinking could lead to more nausea and vomiting. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition -

seek immediate medical attention.

Keep babies out of direct sunlight.
 A baby outside should be covered with a light blanket and hat.

Fill kids up with plenty of water
before they go out in hot weather.
 Children lose water at the same rate as adults. But since they have less body mass the effects are more severe, and they can become dehydrated very quickly.

Sun sense!

The sun is the main cause of skin cancer, and skin cancer is the most common cancer.
 But the cure rate is 95%!


you work or play for long periods outdoors

you are a blond or redhead who burns easily

Fair skinned people don't have enough color pigment in their skin to stop the sun's burning rays.

Avoid being in the sun from 10-11 am to 2-3 pm 
when the UV (ultraviolet) rays are the strongest.


These are a preventative.

Once you are burned, drink plenty of liquids and cool the skin with water, gels or creams.
Those that contain Aloe are excellent and promote healing.
Aspirin or Tylenol may ease the pain and allow you to sleep.

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15 or high and one that will block both UV-A and UV-B rays. Apply sunscreen evenly to all exposed areas 20 minutes before you go out. Reapply every two hours, or after each swim.

SPF (sunscreen protection factor) tells you how much longer you can stay in the sun, before burning, than you can without using a sunscreen. For example, SPF 15 (the minimum recommended) means that you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without protection, before burning. SPF 15 will filter out UVB light (the most dangerous) and at least some UVA light (primarily causes premature aging and wrinkles, but with enough exposure can contribute to cancer).

The higher the SPF number the greater the protection. 
But remember . . .

NO sun screen absorbs all the sun's rays.
 If you stay in the sun long enough you'll burn.

Sunlight reflected from water or snow can also be dangerous. 

The most important factor is to apply sunscreen liberally and reapply often, especially after you swim or sweat. It also helps to stay out of the sun between 10 and 2 when the rays are the strongest and wear opaque, tightly woven clothing and a wide-brimmed hat. Children are particularly susceptible and one or more severe, blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence can double the risk of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) later in life.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide deflect light rays, but should be combined with screening ingredients. There are colorful zinc oxide creams and transparent zinc oxide (Z-Cote) is now found in many moisturizers and foundations.  Paba is an ingredient that some find a skin irritant. To improve water and sweat repellency of the formulas, some products use oils that repel moisture and others are absorbed into the skin and then "time released".

Certain drugs, such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, anti-inflammatory drugs, tranquilizers, oral anti-diabetics, diuretics, some antidepressants, and some dandruff shampoos can increase your sensitivity to light, raising the chance of an adverse reaction to the sun.


Another weapon in the war against the cancerous and aging effects of the sun is clothing made from special fabrics that block 95-99% of the UVA and UVB rays.  As a comparison, the average tee shirt blocks 50% of harmful UVB rays when dry (10-20% when wet).

Available for adults and kids, there are pants, shirts and jackets on the market.

Take a Dive

 If you have the option of 
jumping into a lake, river or the ocean
for a quick dip,
 do it. 
It'll unclog your pores so you can continue to sweat effectively. 
Plus it feels sooooo good.

Wear a hat 

Avoid drugs
 Some medications, such as cold and allergy pills, can decrease sweat rates and contribute to overheating.

Seek out shade 
 When you stop for breaks, rest in the shade. 

Protect yourself both summer and winter by following the above suggestions.


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