As we are in the midst of a mini heat wave, it is a perfect time to recap on some things worth thinking about when it comes to keeping safe in the sun. As you will see from one of my posts this week on my Instagram and Facebook, I didn’t heed my own advice when it comes to the sun cream last weekend, but that is another story..!
So here are my top five safety thoughts when it comes to being out in the sun..
- Slip, Slap, Slop – Get that sun cream on!
Sun cream is really important to wear in the summer months, regardless of your skin colour. According to www.skincare.org, everyone should be wearing sun cream. It doesn’t matter if you have fair skin or dark skin, whether you burn or not, sun cream is about protecting the skin from damaging UV rays so everyone should wear a base layer.
The only ones who don’t need it are babies under 6 months as their skin is very sensitive. Instead they should be kept out of the sun altogether.
For everyday use we should all be using SPF15 or higher. If you are going to spend the day outside we should be using SPF30 or higher.
The best time to apply sun cream is 30 minutes before going outside and we should be reapplying it every two hours and as soon as you have finished swimming or if you have been sweating a lot.
2. When the sun is out, the ground gets hot
Did you know, some types of artificial grass heat up over 20 degrees hotter than regular grass in direct sunlight?
In hot weather, real grass can reach temperatures of 27 degrees in the shade and 34 degrees in the sun whilst artificial grass reach temperatures of 38 degrees in the shade and a whopping 62 degrees in the sun. This is bad news for children and animals in particular, who have more sensitive skin than adults and can get partial thickness burns from being in contact with these surfaces.
It is not just grass which heats up, patio stone, road and pavement tarmac will all increase in temperature so do be mindful about putting on shoes when heading outside in the sun.
3. Keeping cool with the hose? Wait a few seconds before you spray
When the weather is hot outside our hose pipes heat up too and this means when you first turn it on, the stagnant water inside it is boiling hot (over 40degrees!).
Therefore, it is really important to wait a few minutes before spraying family, friends or animals to cool them down to allow this hot water to leave the hose and the nice cool water to start flowing through.
The best thing to do is test the water temperature yourself with your hand before spraying it on anyone else. This will make sure you all have fun in the garden and cool off nicely 🙂
4. Think before leaving water out in a garden
Just a tiny amount of water (2 inches in depth) can be enough for a young child to drown so, if you use a paddling pool, buckets of water, water toys outside always supervise there use and always empty them at the end of any fun games so a child is not left outside with them.
5. Keeping hydrated and cool
Hot weather makes you sweat and lose a lot of water which means we have to up our intake of water to keep feeling well. It can also make us overheat and potentially suffer from heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke.
To combat this, I like to think of us like a car:
When you are driving down the motorway and your car temperature gauge starts to go up……what do you do??
- Do you pull over to the side of the road (and rest)?
- Do you let your car and engine cool down?
- Do you fill up the radiator with water?
If you do all these things, normally, you can carry on your way once the car has recovered. This is like you and heat exhaustion!
- If you are feeling the effects of heat then rest, find a cool, sheltered area and drink water.
All being well you will hit your heat exhaustion on the head and will be able to carry on your merry way! If you don’t listen to the warning signs you will break down completely like a car if it is pushed too hard.
I really hope you get to enjoy the sun over the next few weeks and have found these five tips useful. If you would like more hints and tips on all things basic first aid, head over to my Instagram page: www.instagram.com/andersson_first_aid_training or Facebook www.facebook.com/anderssonfirstaidtraining.
If you would like to book one of my upcoming bookable first aid courses or discuss a private courses for your team email me at email@example.com To join my next bookable baby and child first aid course either online (in July) or in person (in August) use this link: https://anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk/course/child-and-baby-family-courses/