(ATLANTIC) Baz Luhrmann said it best in his popular 1999 song… “Wear Sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.”
But, if his common sense advice isn’t enough for you, local experts weigh in on the importance of protecting yourself during these hot summer days.
Dr. Brian Fiedler, Family Practice Physician at the Atlantic Medical Center, says the best way to protect your skin is to limit your exposure, but if you can’t; use a sunscreen with a minimum SPF30.
“Some people don’t know that you need to apply if about 15 to 30 minutes before going outside and you need to re-apply it about every two to three hours,” explained Dr. Fiedler.
However, Dr. Fiedler says pediatricians usually don’t recommend using sunscreen on children under the age of 6 months, “If they have to be outside you can use a little bit of sunscreen, mostly on just the exposed area such as the face and hands, use a SPF of about 15.”
Besides sunburns, you can also suffer heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke, which can be serious or even fatal. Dr. Fiedler offers these tips to beat the heat.
“Wear loose fitting clothes where the air can get in and around it; light weight, light colors. Also you need to keep hydrated, it’s very important to drink plenty of fluids. Often recommended is to drink like a Gatorade or a sports drink to help replace salts and minerals because when you sweat you lose a lot of your salts. If you do have to be outside and be active, pace yourself, you don’t want to overdo it. And obviously the best thing would be, especially on days like today, is to just stay inside,” said Dr. Fiedler.
If you feel like you may be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, get to a cool spot and rehydrate as soon as possible. If you don’t start feeling any better, call a doctor immediately.