Sun protection awareness as summer starts to heat up

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Now that it's officially summer, people will be spending more time outdoors relaxing, vacationing and of course doing yard work.

As health professionals have been warning us for a number of years, there are perils to excessive exposure to sunlight that can cause injury and pain. St. John Ambulance would like to point out that you can enjoy the sun with minimal risk if the following pointers are considered.

Prevention is the best solution. No matter the skin type, the harmful effects of sun radiation burns can be sustained by anyone. Don’t stay outdoors too long and never leave tender skin exposed for more than a few minutes at a time. Wear a light, sun repellent cover over bathing suits or other light clothing. Always keep your head and eyes protected.

First Aid for Sunburn

- Sunburns can be very serious. Ranging from mild discomfort to severe burning over a large portion of the body, bad sunburns can also be further complicated by heatstroke. For minor sunburn, give first aid as follows:

- Check the individual thoroughly to determine the extent and severity of the burn. Get them out of the sun immediately.

- Cover the burn with a wet towel or gently sponge the area with cool water to relieve pain.

- Pat the skin dry and apply medicated sunburn ointment or lotion. Apply according to directions on the package and watch for warning signs of an allergic reaction.

- Protect burnt areas from further exposure to the sun.

- Don’t break any blisters – doing so may promote infection. If large areas of the skin begin to blister, seek medical help.

- If the individual begins to vomit or develops a fever this signifies the onset of heatstroke. Try and lower the individual’s body temperature and seek medical help.

Knowing what to do in an emergency can make all the difference. For over 125 years, Canadians have trusted St. John Ambulance for quality first aid training and products. St. John Ambulance is a volunteer based non-profit charity dedicated to improving the health and safety of Canadians. St. John First Aid courses help support community projects throughout Saskatchewan. See what St. John can do for you – call 1-888-273-0003 or visit them at www.sja.ca.

Organizations: St. John Ambulance

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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