Now that it’s May, you’re likely looking ahead to Memorial Day, July 4th and longer, brighter and warmer days. In fact, most people plan their summer vacations around outdoor activities. However, if you aren’t careful this fun in the sun can come back to burn you—literally.
Sun exposure during summer poses significant health and safety risks to almost anyone. If you don’t take protective measures, you could face considerable risks.
Why the Sun Poses a Threat
On one hand, the sun's healthy effects provide warmth, as well as valuable nutrients. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. The sun remains a potent source of ultraviolet radiation. When someone experiences too much exposure, they might face considerable health risks.
Skin cancer is one of the most familiar threats of prolonged sun exposure. However, other hazards exist. They include sun burn, dehydration, heat stroke, eye damage and immune system problems. Never consider your time in the sun to be an unlimited experience.
Protecting Yourself from Harmful Solar Effects
Everyone can enjoy a little time in the sun. However, don't overdo it. Even during short outdoor excursions, it helps to take some precautions. If you plan to spend more than a few minutes outside, you might find these measures beneficial.
- Sunscreen should be your best friend. Usually, you should choose SPF 15 or higher. Wear sunscreen even on overcast days. The most important areas to cover include your face, neck, arms and legs. Consider covering all areas not covered by clothing.
- Most experts recommend wearing hats and sunglasses in addition to sunscreen. Hats should cover your face and neck. Sunglasses should contain sufficient tinting and polarization. As an added note of caution, never look directly into the sun.
- Hydrate frequently during your time outside. Even if you are not exercising, the exposure to heat can cause your body to lose moisture. Keep water or another healthy drink with you.
- Should you experience red or burning skin, rapid breathing, nausea, headache or rapid heartbeat, seek help. These might show signs of heat stroke, severe sunburn or even sun poisoning.
- Those with sensitivity to the sun should talk to their doctor about the best way to avoid sun exposure.
Usually, health insurance can cover you when you seek treatment for sun exposure. Regular visits with a primary doctor or dermatologist can help control long-term damage. If you need immediate help, seek treatment at an emergency room or urgent care. Again, while your policy can often help, you might face some heightened charges for this care. Still, never go without the clear cost benefits offered by Oklahoma health insurance.