Sizzling Summer Prep: How to Dazzle, Not Frazzle
As we approach then end of June with the summer months clearly in sight; it'll only be a short while before holidaymakers get ready to head to the airport, hop on a plane and jet off to a summer vacation location!
But let's not get ahead of ourselves, there's a lot of things still to consider before you head on your next adventure, and when it comes to summer prep in general, preparing well in advance really can go a long way.
In this post, we cover how you can stay safe in the sun and what you should be prioritising in your holiday first aid kit - trust us, it's worth its space in your suitcase.
Safe in the Sun
You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't love sitting out in the sun and tanning themselves us, but the sun does come with its dangers.
The sun radiates light in the form of UV (Ultra Violet) rays when these rays hit the skin, they can cause tanning, burning, eye damage, skin damage and even forms of cancer.
The best way to protect yourself when you're in the sun is to sit in the shade, cover up and use sunscreen. This combination is the best way to prevent sunburn and getting yourself into these good habits can help rub off on teenagers and children, who can sometimes need a helping hand.
If you're using sunscreen, you must ensure that the letters UVA in a circle logo with at least 4 stars are present on the bottle and that you're using over SPF15 to protect against UVB (the rays that cause skin reddening and sunburn).
Many people think that sunburn is just the pinking of the skin, whereas really it is the damage of DNA cells in the skin from too much UV exposure.
Sunburn doesn't have to be raw or blistering or even peeling, if you've spent time in the sun and your skin is pink or red, it's sunburnt.
Simply getting sunburnt is a reason to come out of the sun, removing yourself from the sunlight will protect you from further damage. Contrary to the thought, putting on more sunscreen after you're already burnt won't help and won't let you safely stay out in the sun for longer periods of time.
After sun lotion can help soothe the sunburnt skin, but it can't help with the DNA damage that has already been caused.
If someone has been exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time, their body can become dangerously overheated. People can also develop heat stroke after suffering from heat exhaustion.
When someone gets too dehydrated, they can stop sweating, meaning the body does not have the fluids to cool itself down anymore, leading to heatstroke.
The six tell-tale signs of heatstroke are:
- Headaches, dizziness and discomfort
- Confusion and restlessness
- Dry skin that's hot and flushed
- Deteriorating level of response
- Full, bounding pulse
- Body temperature above 40°C
Heatstroke can develop rapidly, with very little warning. The priority is to cool the person suffering from heatstroke down and get them to hospital as quickly as possible.
You should remove them from the heat and remove any excess clothing. You should then call 999/112 to request for an ambulance and begin the cooling process. The person should be wrapped in a cold, wet sheet and water should be poured over it continually until their temperature falls to at least 38°C; this can be measured with a thermometer either under their armpit or under their tongue.
If a sheet is unavailable, fan them or sponge them down with cold water to keep them cool. Once their temperature has returned back to normal, keep checking on them for their breathing, pulse rate and level of responsiveness. If they start to get hot again, repeat the cooling process.
If the casualty loses responsiveness at any point, open their airway and treat them as an unresponsive patient.
Holiday First Aid Kit
Depending on where you're travelling to and your travel plans will determine what you should ideally pack in your travel first aid kit.
A basic travel first aid kit could include:
- Pre-existing medical condition medications
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Hay Fever medicine
- Insect repellent
Country Specific Aspects
Certain countries in certain continents, require country-specific medication for diseases that can be contracted, even if you're only visiting. Some of these can be vaccinations and others can be medications in the form of tablets.
Some of these diseases are:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Prior to travelling, you should contact your GP and see if you require any medication for the location you're travelling to, regardless of whether it's a long haul or short haul journey.
The go-to-shoes for everyone when they're on holiday is sandals. As fantastic as they are keeping your feet and lower legs cool in the breeze, they're notorious for causing blisters all around the feet.
Blisters are small pockets of fluid underneath the skin that form in the higher levels of the skin after it has been damaged. The fluid collects to protect and cushion the tissue below from further damage.
Most blisters heal naturally within seven days and don't require medical attention. It's important you avoid popping the blister as this can lead to infection and even a slower healing process.
If it does burst then allow the fluid to drain and cover it with a dry, sterile dressing until it has healed and avoid peeling the dead skin around the area.
Infected blisters are filled with yellow or green pus and can be red, hot and painful. You should not ignore a blister if you believe it could be infected as they can lead to further issues such as secondary impetigo (a bacterial infection of the skin that's contagious), cellulitis and even sepsis.
Good to Go!
So, now you know, before you jet off or even drive off to your summer destination, plan well in advance, know exactly what to look for and stock up on the first aid essentials and you won't go far wrong.
If you've already been on holiday or are planning a getaway for the summer, get in touch with us on our Twitter page, @imptraining and let us know what you do to plan in advance and how you ensure you and your family are aware of the medical complications you can experience.