The sun is out longer which means it is time for fun hot summer days and long summer nights. Before soaking up that vitamin D, make sure that you take the necessary safety precautions.

Stay hydrated

  • A simple guide is drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day
  • Increased water intake may be required during times of increased sweating
  • Drink when you are thirsty

Take frequent rest breaks

Hyperthermia occurs when your body temperature is elevated (> 104°F). Be aware of the following:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Exhaustion
  • Fast or shallow breathing
  • Flushed or red skin
  • Muscle cramps, spasms, and pain
  • Headache or mild lightheadedness
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you do get too much sun or heat exposure, make sure that your move to a cooler environment and rehydrate. These additional steps may also be helpful:

  • Cool the skin
  • Apply a moisturizer, lotion or gel
  • Leave small blisters intact
  • Consider an over-the-counter pain reliever (take only as directed and consider your health restrictions)

Wear sunscreen

Wear sunscreen that is at least 30 – 50 SPF (sun protective factor).

Did you know skin cancer is:

  • The most common cancer in the world
  • Mostly preventable (90% are caused by sun exposure)
  • Not just something for adults to pay attention to (protection from the sun is especially important in children)

What to do should you get a bad sunburn:

  • Take ibuprofen or something similar for pain and redness
  • Gently cleanse blisters with mild soap and water
  • Seek medical care if experiencing extensive blistering burns, severe pain, or fever

How to enjoy fun in the sun safely:

  • Avoid the peak hours of the day (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
  • Remember to SLIP SLOP SLAP before you go out:
    • SLIP on a shirt
    • SLOP on the sunscreen
    • SLAP on a hat
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Article by: Michelle Broers, PT, DPT

Michelle Broers, PT, DPT, facilitates the overall operation of the UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Burn Center by coordinating clinical, rehabilitation, telemedicine and outreach and prevention activities. She also oversees the burn registry, burn quality improvement and the burn verification process as UofL Hospital journeys toward American Burn Association Burn Center Verification.

All posts by Michelle Broers, PT, DPT
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