Heat Related Illness and How to Stay Safe In the Sun

heat related illness couple sitting in sun by water
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Jonathan Borba

With the official start of summer in just a little more than a week, most of us will be spending more time outdoors and enjoying those sunny days. Sometimes though we get so preoccupied with having fun basking in that glorious sunshine especially after being cooped inside after a long winter that we forget how dangerous the sun can be. Therefore, here are some sun safety tips for staying healthy against heat related illness to keep in mind that can prevent suffering and a medical emergency later.

The best way is by learning to recognize the red flags that you may overlook while out in the sun. The reason this is so important is because the hotter the temperature is, the harder the heart works to cool the body to maintain its proper temperature, which can lead to heatstroke, a drop in blood pressure to dehydration and other related illness.

Clues to Look Out for That Can Signal Heat Related Illness

Look for signs of heat exhaustion. Feeling suddenly tired after being in the sun a few hours means it’s time to go indoors. The skin could also feel cool and moist. Suddenly developing a headache can also be an indication that the body could be in danger from heatstroke. Something else to look out for is confusion because heat also can affect the brain. Breathing can become rapid and swallow. Though some people might blame allergies for developing a queasy stomach or vomiting after a period of time in the hot sun, it can be potentially heatstroke creeping in.

Heat exhaustion is the body’s warning system. Otherwise, the body’s temperature keeps going up quickly at dangerous levels since the body can no longer cool itself from its inability to sweat to damage other internal organs as well as the brain and possible death from heatstroke.

Besides sun damage to the skin that can cause premature wrinkling and a leather like appearance to skin, you could also get those age spots from overactive pigment cells that speeds up melanin that produces color of the skin from too much of that ultraviolet light. Giant red, itchy hives is another heat related illness that can happen quickly for anyone with a sun sensitivity that can be serious and sometimes fatal. Though all beauty related issues are bad, it could even be worse because skin cancer can also develop.

Something else just as frightening is what too much sun exposure can do when the eyes are not properly protected from the sun. The retina, lens and cornea can all be affected. In fact, all this ultraviolet light can also lead to early cataracts to a form of eye cancer called ocular melanoma. Make sure that the sunglasses you select are a pair that can shield both UVA and UVB rays.

It also helps to wear sunscreen with at SPF 30 and reapply it every two hours to stay safe when spending time in the sun. Also, remember the sun is at its strongest from 10 a.m. tp 4 p.m. so be vigilant.

This post wasn’t intended to frighten anyone from enjoying the beautiful weather sunshine when we have it. The purpose was just to remind you that sun safety and these tips and dangers I shared are real.


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