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Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun

We all love those long hot summer days. Skies are blue, days are bright and people seem happier. Sunshine releases endorphins, our happy hormone and the majority of us can’t wait to get out there and make the most of the good weather. But, as we all know by now it’s not all sunshine and happiness. There are risks to too much sun exposure, so we have to take some sensible measures to stay safe. Sunstroke puts a real downer on your day, not to mention some of the more serious conditions that result from harmful UV rays. Here are some simple tips to help you stay safe in the sun.

1.Sunscreen

                          Yes, it may seem like the most obvious thing but it is also one of the most basic, and also one of the most forgettable measures that we can take. How many times have we gone out into the sun without putting on sunscreen first? Even if we’re just popping out to the shops, if the sun is out, we should be applying sunscreen. If you have little ones it is especially important that they are protected as their skin is much more sensitive than an adult’s, but you must not forget yourself in the process! Also remember to apply sunscreen to the unexposed parts of your skin. With all of us understandably wearing thinner layers during the summer months, UV rays are still capable of getting through. Depending on how long you spend out in the sun you may also need to reapply, as there’s a time limit on how effective sunscreen can be.

2.Seek out Shade

                                  The sun on summer days can be relentless so if you are out in it it is advisable to seek out shade when you can. Especially when the sun is at it’s most intense between the hours of 11am and 3pm. Whether you make your way indoors for a reprieve or find yourself a shady spot not only will it protect you, but you’ll give yourself a welcome break from the heat. This will help you avoid sunburn, which can be extremely painful when its bad, and sunstroke which can make you feel incredibly ill.

3.Protective Clothing

                                          Although we’re unlikely to layer up during the summer months it’s still important to cover certain areas. Clothing helps to protect you from UV rays. A hat to protect your head and provide shade for your face along with a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes will all help. There is even clothing with built in UV protection such as UPF 50+ swimsuits for when the heat forces you to wear the minimum. If you’re out and about in the sun, on the beach or swimming in the sea, these are a great way of protecting your skin. As far as fabric is concerned, cotton is great for absorbing harmful UV rays and could prevent sunburn. Try to avoid transparent fibres and go for something tightly woven to prevent  those harmful rays from penetrating through.

4.Stay hydrated!

                                 This is something that is so simple but so important, most especially in hot weather. We lose moisture when we sweat and this is obviously accelerated in hot weather so we have  to replenish our bodily supplies. Make sure you always have a drink with you when you leave the house. It is more cost effective and better for the environment to use a metal refillable bottle. Most places will refill it for you free of charge if you request tap water. Tea and coffee aren’t as effective as caffeine is a diuretic, which is what makes you need the bathroom more and you lose more fluids that way. The same goes for alcohol which has the opposite effect and serves to dehydrate you. It’s best if possible to stick with good old fashioned water!

5.Avoid sunbeds

                                  Yes, we know this isn’t strictly sun but these sunbeds do the same job at a much more intense level. In fact, they give out more UV rays than the midday sun at a tropical climate. Exposing your skin in that way can be incredibly harmful, even if you only use them for the recommended time. If you’re someone that desires the bronzed look, then there are less harmful alternatives to help you achieve this. Certain skin products have added SPF  to give you a natural tanned look as well as skin protection. This is much safer than exposing yourself to more harmful UV rays than necessary and you still achieve the desired look.

6.It’s all about time

                                      Lastly, make sure that you take regular breaks out of the sun. It’s tempting to make the most of these long summer days but it must all be in proportion. Find yourself some shelter at regular points during the day.

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