Hello Sunshine! Welcome Summer!

Summer presents many opportunities for getting out into the sun and warmth. Whether it’s a game of golf, a swim in the pool, projects in the yard, taking a walk or just relaxing in a lounge chair, summer is a season for enjoying being outside. As we age or develop chronic health conditions our bodies become more sensitive to prolonged or intense sun and heat. It is important to prevent over exposure and know what to do when you have had too much sun.

Following some basic precautions will help you manage your sun and heat exposure.

A few of the most obvious tips:

  • Limit your Time in Direct Sunlight—Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl!
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear Light-Colored Clothing
  • Protect Your Eyes
  • Take breaks and cool down
  • Stay hydrated

Some less obvious precautions:

  • Review Medications. Some drugs may increase sun sensitivity; high blood pressure medications and pain medications (ex. Ibuprofen and Naproxen as well as topical pain products like Voltaren). Drugs that may increase your sensitivity to heat: some antidepressants (tricyclic), antipsychotics (ex. Risperdal), antihistamines (ex. Benadryl), some high blood pressure medications and medications for Overactive Bladder. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages. Drink more water, juices or sports drinks. If you are taking diuretics, you must be especially vigilant.
  • Keep living spaces at 78 degrees or less. Temperatures above 80 degrees can precipitate heat emergencies. Utilize air conditioning and fans as needed and close blinds and curtains to keep the house cooler.
  • Ask for help when you need it. For example, if you feel dizzy, if your air conditioner stops working, or if you have a sun sensitivity and need someone to get medical help for you or to go to the store/pharmacy for you.

Signs and Symptoms that you have had too much sun and are experiencing Heat Exhaustion and/or Heat Stroke (CDC) and need relief and/or medical help: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/