As our days grow longer and warmer, we must remember to remain safe as we go about our daily activities. Our children and elderly population are especially prone to summertime illnesses and other ailments. Sunburn, Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke are the most prevalent, medical emergencies which affect people during the summer months. Extra care needs to be implemented to protect our very young and elderly family members and friends.
On June 14, 2011 the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) announced that they would be making changes to the claims printed on sunscreen labels. Labels will no longer be able to state that sunscreen is waterproof or sweat proof nor will labels be able to claim a SPF protection higher than 50. There has been no conclusive research that proves sunscreens labeled 50 or higher provide more protection from the sun’s rays.
Sunburn is probably the most common affliction which haunts people during the summer months. It is characterized by the reddening of skin which is caused by an overexposure to UV rays and is categorized as either a first degree or second degree burn. Sunburn may also have lasting harmful effects on the skin which often may not resurface until years later; these effects resurface as wrinkles, age spots, scarring and in rare instances cancer. Sunburn victims often display an array of symptoms including:
It is imperative that the symptoms of sunburn be treated promptly, since sunburn is the actual burning of skin there are no over the counter or home remedies that can cause skin to repair itself. Some remedies that may be used to treat symptoms include:
While sunburn itself may not be life threatening, Heat Exhaustion (over exposure to extremely hot conditions and the loss of bodily fluids and salts) could potentially become life threatening and medical treatment should be sought. Some signs of heat exhaustions include:
Heat stroke which a severe form of heat exhaustion is LIFE THREATENING and medical attention should be sought at once. Heat stroke is the body’s inability to regulate its core temperature. In addition to heat exhaustion symptoms a person suffering from a heat stroke also exhibits the following symptoms:
People suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke should be moved to shaded areas at once. If the person is awake and alert they should be given water to drink until they can be transported to a medical facility.
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