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Sun Safety

Summertime... and the living is easy! 

Everyone loves summer. Long, warm days. Long, lazy nights. Summer brings out the adventure, but it also brings out the blazing sun and in the midst of beach trips and yard work and neighborhood barbecues, sun safety often gets lost.

Sun exposure sneaks up on people. Armed with the right information, your patients will be better prepared to face their days safely. In the 1940s, Benjamin Green was an airman and pharmacist during World War II. To protect the soldiers from sunburn, he created what was called Red Vet Pet - a red colored petroleum gel that was thick and pasty and had to be "painted" on. Other products existed before them, but they weren't very effective. 

In 1944, Green improved his formula, added jasmine scent, and called it Coppertone. And thus, summer fun became a little safer. That first formula has changes. Now sunscreen has changed. Advanced. With the introduction of various chemicals, creams and sprays can block both UVA and UVB rays. They're more comfortable, easy to apply, and last for hours. Even in the water. 

But there's far more to staying healthy while we play than slathering on sunscreen. To begin with, most people don't use it properly. You can correct that. Using video message announcements, you can educate your patient on good habits:

  • Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin 15 minutes before going outside.
  • Sunscreen should have an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30.
  • It should also provide broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Reapply every two hours and/or after swimming or sweating.
  • Even cloudy days need sunscreen!

Even going about daily lives can be dangerous in the summer. We don't need to be at the beach. We don't need to be throwing a party or lounging in the sun to put ourselves at risk. Dehydration can sneak up and cause problems that are all too easy to brush off as normal. Knowing the signs, knowing what we should be doing will ward off larger issues. 

  • Increased thirst and dry mouth are early symptoms.
  • Headaches accompany dehydration.
  • Weakness and irritability in children are warning signs.
  • Consume 6-8 cups of liquid a day.
  • Drink water, fruit juice, and sports drinks.
  • Avoid alcoholic or carbonated drinks.

We can help you create messaging that is fun, engaging, and will stick in your patient's mind. Full sound and motion reduces both boredom and perceived wait time. With patient-tailored programming, you can remind people to:

  • Wear protective clothing when possible -  sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, long pants, and long sleeved shirts.
  • Stay in the shade - UV rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm.
  • Be extra cautious near water - reflected rays can increase chance of sunburn.
  • Check the UV index before planning a day in the sun.
  • Remember to be careful with children's exposure.

Of course, all the warnings you can offer won't prevent problems, but you can suggest ways to soothe the burn (and what not to do!). More importantly, you can show signs and symptoms of dangerous exposure. You can remind your patients that dizziness and nausea could indicate sun poisoning. You can caution them that if they experience fever and chills, large blisters, and confusion, they should seek immediate medical care. 

Summer months and summer activities take people out of shade and into the sun, where fun can swiftly turn to pain or worse. But it doesn't have to. With Health Media Network as your partner in patient education, you can share tips and tricks to keep your clients safe while they play while also assuring they know when to come see you.