Summer Safety – Part 1

by on May 29, 2009

During the eighties people became aware of the potential damage caused by overexposure to the sun. As more and more evidence is discovered about the health effects of the sun with regard to exposure to unprotected skin, here are some facts to consider before you take that next trip to the beach.

1. Be generous with sunscreen. Especially on the face, neck and head. Consider wearing a hat.

2. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) has to do with the amount of time you spend in the sun before burning. If you usually burn in 15 minutes, with SPF 10, you will theoretically get the same burn after 150 minutes — (15 x 10).

3. For every 1000 feet above sea level, ultraviolet light increases in intensity by 4 % to 5 %. If you are at an elevation of 4000 feet, the increase would be about 16 % to 20 %!

4. Babies under 6 months of age should be shielded from the sun because they usually have not developed their full skin pigmentation.

5. Recognize the symptoms of sun or heatstroke: hot, dry skin, no sweating, weakness, dizziness, rapid breathing, nausea, and high body temperature.

6. Sunstroke should be treated by cooling the person. Use cold water, ice or wrap the person in a wet sheet or towel. Seek medical attention.

7. The sun is a source of vitamin D. Children who are never in the sun and lack vitamin D in their diet are at risk of developing rickets, a condition which softens the bones.

8. Sunlight tends to be a morale booster for most of us. People can actually suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during months of little sun. A lack of sunlight can have an effect upon our moods and behavior.

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