Sun Protection Tips

Learn about safety measures to survive a heat wave.

Practice the tips about attire and diet to stay cool, dry and comfortable during extreme heat conditions.


It’s important to make subtle changes in our daily routine of activity, attire and diet to ensure good health during the summertime heat and to take safety measures to ensure survival during summer heat waves.

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Avoid the sun at its peak between 10AM in the morning and 2PM in the afternoon, and try to stay cool.  Try to schedule your activities and chores during the cooler periods of the day, the early morning and late evening, and remember to get more rest and drink more fluids. This siesta or rest period is even more important for children, for people who are less fit such as the elderly, for people who have a medical condition, and for special circumstances such as pregnant women and nursing mothers.


Try to reduce strenuous activities, especially if you are not accustomed or acclimatized to the heat.  If you must be outdoors, try to stay in the shade, move slowly and take frequent water and rest breaks.

Always use sunscreen and apply it regularly, especially if you are sweating or swimming.  Sunburns reduce the body’s ability to cool off properly, and when normal sweating can’t cool the body quickly enough in extreme heat, the body’s thermometer rises quickly.


Above all, if you have children, educate them about the dangers of extreme heat conditions and the dangers of too much sun exposure.  Teach them to come indoors immediately when they feel overwhelmed by the heat.


It goes without saying that the best protection is to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day.  The lower levels of the house are usually the coolest.  Hopefully, you have air conditioning or fans so as to circulate the air-conditioned air or to at least keep the regular air flowing throughout the house.

Don’t add to the heat already inside by operating appliances you can avoid using during the hottest part of the day, such as the clothes dryer, dishwasher, and oven if you have a microwave.  Turn the lights off or low and keep window shades, blinds or curtains closed.

Take a cool, not cold, bath or shower, and avoid strenuous activity.  If air conditioning is not available, seek it out in public places such as shopping malls, municipal libraries, community centers.  Resting in an air conditioned area even for just a few hours during a heat wave, can reduce heat related illnesses.


Never leave children, pets, and the elderly or even adults in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.  Temperatures inside a closed car can rise to dangerous levels within minutes.

Try to park the car in the shade or even near a strip of grass or islands with grass.  It’s cooler for the car and healthier.  As the car bakes in the sun, toxins are released from the plastic interior and even the chemicals in the carpet.  So try to remember to air out your car before re-entry.


Summertime attire and diet are critical. During extreme heat conditions you need to dress for the occasion and to fast for the occasion.  Wear light coloured, lightweight, loose fitting clothing made of natural fibers, moisture wicking super absorbent breathable fabrics. Light coloured clothes reflect the sunlight and keep you cooler.

When outdoors remember to wear sunscreen on exposed skin areas and to re-apply it, at least, every few hours.  Don’t wear wet or damp clothing due to excessive sweating.

Stay cool and dry; change your clothing if it becomes wet or damp.  Wear well-ventilated hats, preferably with a wide brim and also, light colored.  And of course, when outdoors try to stay in the shade as much as possible, and wear sunglasses.


Use moisture wicking bed accessories and moisture wicking sleepwear to stay cooler, drier and more comfortable during the night, especially for people who suffer from night sweats.

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Eat light, smaller portions and more often.  Eat cool and easy to digest foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, lean meats, low protein foods, more fish.  Snack on frozen treats such as popsicles, ice-cream, frozen yogurt.  The ultimate goal is to keep cool and reduce the metabolic heat of the body.


Drink lots of water and fluids to survive a heat wave.  Drink plenty of water, juices and caffeine-free drinks.  People lose water through sweating, breathing, urinating and bowel movement, and it’s critical during extreme heat conditions, to make sure your body has enough fluid to work properly.  Salts, minerals and other chemicals your body needs to work properly are also lost.  The lack of body fluid thickens the blood and triggers your thirst button.  Don’t ignore your thirst because it can lead to dehydration.

So drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, even when you don’t feel thirsty. Teach children to do the same by always drinking plenty of fluids before and after outdoor activities.  Drink and eat in smaller portions and more often, especially in extreme heat conditions.
Don’t drink alcohol, caffeinated beverages, coffees, energy drinks with more than 8% carbohydrates.  These fluids increase the metabolic heat of the body and in turn, dehydrate the body.  Athletes and people exercising in the heat should drink more than just water to replenish the mineral loss, but once again, read the ingredient label on the energy drink.
It’s just as important to acclimatize to the summer heat as it is to take safety precautions to protect yourself from the damage and dangers of the hot summer sun.  Sunburns and sun poisoning are two examples.   It isn’t only the long and deadly heat waves, but also the series of mini heat waves that gradually build stress and give rise to serious heat illnesses –heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke.
Recognize the symptoms of heat illnesses and be informed about what to do.
Always think prevention when it comes to heat and sun protection.



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