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Water Safety Week – Sun Safety

 

It’s Water Safety Week!
June 19th – 23rd

It’s day three of Water Safety Week!  Good to see you again 🙂

Each day this week, there will be a new blog post with different topics on Water Safety. Within each blog, there will be a secret word that will be in bold letters. On Friday after the last blog post, you can email all five of the code words to [email protected] for a chance to win 4-Day Passes to Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark!

 

We all need some sun exposure — it’s the top source of vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. But it’s important to know how to avoid too much sun exposure and the precautions to take to stay safe in the sun!

Don’t Get Burned

It doesn’t take much time in the sun for most people to get the vitamin D they need. And repeated unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system suppression, and skin cancer. Here are some great tips for sun safety from the Sun Safety Alliance:

  • Sunscreen needs to be applied liberally and evenly over all exposed areas, evenly and throughout the day (Don’t forget your neck, ears, and lips!)
  • Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher when you’re outdoors. To achieve adequate UV protection, you should use products that provide broad spectrum protection, which means protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
  • Be a role model and consistently apply sunscreen on yourself and your children
  • Sunglasses and hats help with protection from the sun’s rays
  • Do not use tanning beds
  • Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun

 

It’s Fun to Play in the Sun, but…

When you’re in the sun for long periods of time, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion and even hyperthermia occur when the body is no longer able to regulate its internal temperature.

Prevention of heat-related illness is best accomplished through proper planning and preparation, such as increasing fluid intake, wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen, acclimating yourself to the hot environment, visiting a cool environment when necessary, and being aware of how your body feels. It’s also extremely important as a parent or guardian to monitor your child’s behavior and make sure the whole family is taking all of the proper precautions. Often forgotten, but it is important to remember to ask your doctor or pharmacist if any prescription (especially antibiotics and acne medications) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications your child is taking can increase sun sensitivity.

Treating Illness and/or Sunburn

Treatment for heat-related illness generally includes moving the individual out of the hot environment, implementing cooling measures as needed, rest, and rehydration.

If you or your child gets a sunburn, these tips from KidsHealth.org can help:

  • Have your child take a cool (not cold) bath, or gently apply cool, wet compresses to the skin to help alleviate pain and heat.
  • To ease discomfort, apply pure aloe vera gel (available in most drugstores) to any sunburned areas.
  • Give your child an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen or use acetaminophen to ease the pain and itching. (Do not, however, give aspirin to children or teens.) Over-the-counter diphenhydramine also may help reduce itching and swelling.
  • Apply topical moisturizing cream to rehydrate the skin and treat itching. For the more seriously sunburned areas, apply a thin layer of 1% hydrocortisone cream to help with pain. (Do not use petroleum-based products, because they prevent excess heat and sweat from escaping. Also, avoid first-aid products that contain benzocaine, which may cause skin irritation or allergy.)

If the sunburn is severe and blisters develop, call your doctor. Until you can see your doctor, tell your child not to scratch, pop, or squeeze the blisters, which can get infected and cause scarring. Keep your child out of the sun until the sunburn is healed. Any further sun exposure will only make the burn worse and increase pain.

 

So what did we learn?

Everyone loves outdoor water activities in the hot, summer sun, but it’s important to remember that sun exposure occurs year-round, and sunscreen and hydration are key to staying healthy and safe.

 

See you tomorrow!

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