Three Tips for Sun Safety
1. Hydration! You would guess that sunscreen would be first on the list! But not only do fluids help when you are out in the sun, proper hydration is essential to protect against other senior health issues such as urinary tract infections. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day - for optimal hydration make sure it is water and not sugary or caffeinated beverages.
2. Sunscreen. As we age our skin looses collagen and can become paper thin making elders even more susceptible to the sun's damage. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends at least 30 SPF with a water resistant formula. Reapply every couple of hours.
3. Timing. Plan to be outside when the sun is not as strong - such as morning or late afternoon/evening. The sun is generally strongest between 10 am and 4 pm with peak hours between noon and 2 pm.
In addition to these tips, please be sure to watch for signs of heat stroke. Some signs may be confusion/disorientation, excessive tiredness, and headache. If you notice any of these signs, please seek immediate attention.
Now, we can't talk about sun protection without mentioning that being outside is also extremely beneficial for elders. I do not want people avoiding being outside because of the risk - with planning, timing and proper hydration elders will receive the immense benefit of being outside! What is your favorite thing to do outside in the sunshine? I love setting up the volleyball net in the backyard and having family and friends over for a fun (but still competitive) game. I also love to take my morning cup of coffee outside to listen to the birds and watch my three dogs run around the back yard.
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