As the weather warms up, most of us spend more time in the sun. But, sometimes, we forget that the sun and heat can cause problems… especially for people who have existing health concerns. So Deborah, our Special Needs Program Coordinator and resident LPN, is here to help us brush up on our sun safety!
It’s time again for me to remind you to avoid sunburns and overexposure to the sun. Test your knowledge!
1. True or False: Sunscreen is most effective applied 30 minutes after you go in the sun, because it rubs in better on warm skin.
2. True or False: You can’t get burned if you have a naturally dark complexion or a “base tan” already.
3. First-Aid measures for a sunburn are:
a. Apply margarine or butter
b. Apply ice water
c. Keep it covered
d. Apply lukewarm water, pat dry, and apply burn cream
4. Which are signs of heat exhaustion?
a. nausea & vomiting
b. dizziness & fainting
c. excessive sweating
d. cool & clammy skin
f. muscle cramps
h. tiredness & weakness
5. True or False: A sign that heat exhaustion is getting better is that the skin is dry, warm to touch, and has stopped sweating.
6. Which of the following increases your likelihood of burning or heat exhaustion?
b. antidepressants / psych meds
c. birth control pills
f. seizure disorders
7. What’s the best prevention from heat exhaustion?
1. False! Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, to give the body time to absorb it thoroughly.
2. False! Everyone can get skin damage and/or skin cancer. However, having a light complexion makes it more likely.
3. D. Applying margarine/butter or keeping the burn covered are wrong for the same reason; they hold in the heat and it can worsen the burn. Applying ice water can induce shock for someone who is severely burned. Apply room temperature water instead, then treat.
4. All of them!
5. False! If heat exhaustion is untreated, it gets worse by the body shutting down. One sign of this is that the body quits sweating. If the skin is also warm to touch, it isn’t cooling itself like it should.
6. All of the above!
7. HYDRATION!! One of the best choices is water. Sports drinks are helpful, too. They replenish valuable electrolytes that your body loses when you sweat. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. They both make you lose fluid, which your body needs when it’s hot.