The glorious days of summer are upon us; time for road trips to the lake, the mountains and plenty of outdoor fun. Along with this comes the inevitable risk of sunburn, bug bites, tummy troubles and bumps ‘n bruises. Some common-sense basics for prevention along with a handful of natural products for care and you're set to keep your family enjoying the summer.
Sunburn - Prevention is best! When being outdoors during the day, wear lightweight, protective clothing and hats as much as possible. Try to avoid direct sunlight when the sun is most intense. Use a sunscreen with a physical barrier, such as zinc oxide. (Studies are showing some of the chemical sunscreens to be carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors.) And stay hydrated! You don’t have to just drink your water, you can eat it too! Fruits like watermelon contain lots of water and will help maintain hydration. Staying properly hydrated will significantly reduce the risk of sunstroke. At the end of the day, aloe vera gel, calendula gel and lavender essential oil will soothe the skin.
Nausea, dizziness, headaches, confusion, rapid breathing and quick heart rate are all signs of sunstroke. If you notice any of these symptoms in your family members after being in the sun, seek medical attention. Rehydration and removal from the heat are critical. If in a remote area, make sure you have oral rehydration salts on hand.
By Dr. Stephanie Andrews, ND