Who doesn’t enjoy being outdoors when the weather is great? Family barbecues, pool parties, sporting activities, even cutting the grass – it’s that much better when the sun is shining. Some caution does need to be applied though. Between the heat and exposure to strong UV (ultraviolet) rays, there are a variety of medical issues that can arise.
Your body becomes dehydrated when it doesn’t have the levels of water or fluids that it needs to stay healthy. This condition can lead to fainting, fatigue and weakness, light-headedness and nausea. Children in particular are more susceptible to dehydration because they sweat less, tend to overheat more, and rely on adults to make sure they drink enough.
High levels of heat, made worse by dehydration, can cause a number of different physical ailments.
Heat Cramps – severe and painful muscular cramping.
Heat Exhaustion – not life threatening, but will require medical attention. This is characterized by fatigue & weakness, nausea, muscle cramps, confusion, slowed heartbeat, fainting, sweating and cold skin.
Heat Stroke – very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms include nausea, fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, hot skin & increased temperature, rapid heart rate, decreased sweating, confusion and convulsions.
Our skin is our largest organ and it protects us from many things. Unfortunately cancers of the skin are the most common, with millions of cases being identified every year in North America alone. There are different types, each of which has its own characteristics, but all should be taken very seriously.
Skin cancer is caused by prolonged exposure to the sun’s dangerous UV rays, and you’re at higher risk if you have pale skin, have a family history of skin cancer, have had previous severe sunburns, have numerous moles or are taking certain medications. Early visual detection and consultation with your doctor is the key to effective treatment.
Most of the issues that result from too much heat and sun exposure can be prevented by following some common safety practices.
Enjoy your time outdoors, but remember not to take chances with daytime sun and heat. It doesn’t take much to cross the line between feeling comfortable to being in real trouble.