How To Avoid Sunstroke and Sunburns

By March 4, 2015Blog, First Aid


While other areas of the country might be experiencing record breaking cold temperatures and snowstorms, it is all sunny skies in Southern California.

With spring just around the corner, temperatures will start to rise rapidly, and before you know it, you’ll be lounging on the beach or pool. It is important to make sure that while you and your family are having fun in the sun, you take the proper precautions to avoiding sunburns and sunstroke.

Apply Sunscreen

Most people do not put enough sunscreen on before exposing themselves to the sun. Sunscreen should be applied before going outdoors, and reapplied every two hours depending on the activity that is being performed.

Activities like swimming can remove sunscreen and might require you to reapply more often.

The sunscreen that you are using should protect against both UVA and UVB damage. You should be using a Sun Protector Factor (SPF) of at least 15 and, if you have sensitive skin, it should be even higher. The higher the SPF, the more protection it offers from the sun.

Remember, sunscreen does expire, so make sure you check the label before applying.

Cover Up

If you are going to be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, make sure you cover up. Wearing a hat can protect your face from the sun and wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes.

Wearing lightweight, light colored clothing will help reflect the sun’s rays back instead of absorbing them. If you are heading to the beach or pool, make sure you have a body-sized umbrella available to provide you with shade. Being directly out of the sun’s rays well help prevent your body from becoming dehydrated and keep sunstroke from setting in.

Limit Vigorous Activity

Try limiting vigorous activity in the middle of the day. This is when temperatures are usually the hottest and sunstroke can occur if you are performing a strenuous activity for an extended amount of time. Try rescheduling your activities to earlier in the morning or during evening hours. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and stay hydrated during your activity.

If at any time while you are in the sun you feel that you are getting sunburned or feel dizzy you should seek shade immediately and drink plenty of fluids.

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