June 11, 2014

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Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

Summer is quickly approaching, and you may have started making plans to spend your time outdoors. But have you made a plan for how to protect yourself and your family from the sun?

Our nursing team in Weslaco, Texas, recommends these simple tips to stay safe in the sun this summer:

Drink plenty of fluids. It’s important to drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration in the summer heat.

Dress appropriately. Wear loose and lightweight clothing to help protect your skin from the sun. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and sunglasses for eye protection.

Limit your time in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Ultraviolet light is the strongest between these hours, which increases the chances of damage to your eyes and skin. If you must be outside during these times, stand under a shade.

Review your medications. Some medications may cause side effects such as an increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Contact your doctor or pharmacist with any questions.

Protect your kids. Apply sunscreen to your children and ensure they do not spend too much time in the sun. Children under 6 months of age shouldn’t be exposed to the sun and should always be protected with lightweight clothing, hats and baby sunglasses.

Teach your family the ‘slip, slop, slap and wrap’ method.

  • Slip on clothing that will cover your skin from direct exposure to the sun.
  • Slop on sunscreen with a minimum SPF rating of 15 or higher at least 20 minutes before sun exposure and at least every two hours after that.
  • Slap on a hat to block your face from the sun.
  • Wrap on sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.

For more information about sun safety, visit the American Cancer Foundation’s website.