to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Bulletin



Fun in the Sun

Summer's coming! It's time to get outside and enjoy the glories of God's Creation. Just take a little extra care.

The familiar risks of overexposure to sunlight include: sunburn; eye damage; dehydration; and with prolonged exposure, skin cancer. The trick is that by the time you notice the symptoms, you already have the condition. This is definitely a situation in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Sunburn can range from mild, tender, reddening of the skin to severe, very painful, second-degree burns with dehydration, nausea and vomiting, chills and fever. Remember that you can burn even on cloudy days, and you may not feel any discomfort or see reddening until after the sun goes down. Risk factors - same as for cancer.

Eye Damage
Like the skin, eyes can also be burned by overexposure to sunlight, even on cloudy days. Skin and eye protection go together.

Our bodies are composed of 66 - 75% water (depending on age). During hot weather, we are particularly prone to dehydration due to sweating. It is vitally important to drink extra fluids (water, salty fluids) throughout the day to prevent serious imbalances which can ultimately be fatal.

Skin Cancer (not Melanoma)
Risk factors include: fair skin, freckles; blond hair, blue eyes; sun exposure and tanning salons; severe sunburn in childhood; family history; previous skin cancers.
Symptoms include: a sore that doesn't heal;
changes in a wart/mole - change in size/ shape/colour, irregular edges. Skin cancers are common and usually easily treatable. They should not be ignored.

· Use sun-blocking agents appropriate for your age, skin type, and sensitivity. Reapply frequently (e.g. after swimming or sweating).
· Many make-up foundations now include sun-blockers.
· Wear sunglasses and a hat with a brim.
· Don't sunbathe between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Two-thirds of the sun's UV rays come through the atmosphere then.
· Drink 8 - 10 large (8 oz.) glasses of fluid daily (mostly water).
· Find shade or air-conditioned places during excessive heat.
· Remember that children and seniors are at greater risk than adults for all these complications.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry