Staying Safe in the Sun During the Covid-19 Pandemic
After being stuck at home for months, everyone is happy about the sunshine and warmer weather. However, Texas is fast approaching that time of the year where the heat reaches 90°F and above, and you feel as if everything around you are going to melt.
Whether you are simply looking for fresh air or a beneficial Vitamin D boost, it is now more crucial to practice sun safety.
Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER, would like to share some general sun safety tips, as well as tips to prevent sunburns, heatstroke, and dehydration to make sure that your time outdoors is as fun and memorable as you dreamt it.
We often see dehydrated patients in our emergency room during the summer months. Dehydration is a real concern, as it increases your risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
To prevent dehydration, keep the following in mind:
- Drink water every 15-20 minutes, especially when you are outdoors.
- If you are engaging in an outdoor sport, hydrate with a sports drink that is low in sugar to replenish lost electrolytes.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks.
Reduce your risk of skin cancer and skin damage by seeking shade under a big tree, an umbrella, or other shelter. Do this especially during midday hours (between 10AM and 2PM). Your best bet for skin protection is a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
This should be a daily habit, regardless of the season, but applying sunscreen is especially essential during this special time. Keep in mind that we have been indoors for an extended period of time due to the pandemic. Give your skin some time to adjust to sun exposure.
- Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you head out of the house.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Reapply every two hours.
Whenever possible, wear long skirts and pants, as well as lightweight, long-sleeved shirts. This will help shield you from damaging UV rays. Darker fabrics offer more protection, as well as clothes made of tightly woven fabric. Some clothing comes with details about its UV protection factor.
Wear eye protection
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that prolonged and high levels of UV light exposure heighten your risk of developing certain eye ailments like cataracts, growths on the eye, and cancer. Photokeratitis is a painful condition and can quickly develop after UV exposure.
Eye protection tips:
- Wear sunglasses.
- Wear broad-rimmed hats, even during a cloudy day.
- If your eyes become dry, use artificial tears.
- Don’t stand too close to open fires or lit grills.
- Do not look directly at the sun.
We live in a “new normal,” one that must closely follow the health officials’ guidelines to help prevent and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Aside from practicing sun safety, we highly encourage you to wear a mask whenever you are outside. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from others, and always wash your hands with soap and water.
Physicians Premier, your Corpus Christi ER, is open 24/7 for the community, providing high-quality emergency medical services in a safe, clean, and friendly environment. Do not hesitate to visit us if you require medical attention. Your health and well-being are always our priorities.
“Practice sun safety to stay healthy outside during the pandemic,” CNN Health, https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/28/health/sun-safety-outdoors-protection-wellness/index.html
“Dehydration,” Cleaveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/9013-dehydration
“7 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun,” U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, https://www.womenshealth.gov/blog/7-tips-sun-safety
“Sun Safety Tips for Families,” CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety-tips-families.htm
“The Sun, UV Light and Your Eyes,” American Academy of Opthalmology, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/sun