The Sunshine State didn’t get its name from overcast days or a lack of the sunny stuff. We’ve got plenty of sun to go around and with it, tanning at its finest. But that also means you could burn, a dangerous thing indeed. It doesn’t take long to spot a tourist in Florida; you’re the ones with the bright red glow. From personal experience as a Midwestern teen who wanted to bring home a tan from our family vacations; a Florida burn can hurt.
Our sun is a strong one and sorry folks, your skin is not used to it. It’ll get you from all around as well, reflecting off water and buildings and soaking into your skin like the suntan lotion you should be using.
So here are a couple of east tips to help you stay safe and enjoy Florida fully, while also having fun.
These are tips to help and are not a doctor’s recommendation. Talk to your doctor about your skin, your health and your lifestyle. These are just tips and suggestions. Your safety and health are your responsibility.
Use Sun Tan Lotion All The Time. Re-applying often. If you want a base tan or some color, sure, get it, but do so with a lower SPF rating – like an 8 or 15. We all need sun, but not what a Florida sun can do.
Don’t Use Oil. Hey, if you want to discover the secret life of a fried egg, go ahead, but if you’re just interested in a little sun and staying safe, go with the sun tan lotion.
Take a shower. When I was visiting the Florida Keys several years back a local told me that after I burned or tanned to take a shower. It helped cool my skin and apparently settled in the tan – she told me it would keep the burn from getting too bad, keep me from pealing and seal the tan. Well, she wasn’t a doctor, but the cool water – not cold or hot – felt good, I’d burned that day, but it never got as bad as burns usually do for me and I didn’t peal. And the tan I came away with was awesome. I still do this today. But I also work hard never to burn anymore. I work very hard not to burn.
Be careful of what you expose and always use plenty of lotion on children, especially smaller children. I’ve seen it every time we’re out – parents who’ve got little ones, babies even, who have obviously not applied the sun tan lotion to that young skin. This is stupid. Let me repeat that - this is very stupid. Kid’s skin is so sensitive and you’re taking a risk with their health. Please, use sun tan lotion on children all the time, reapplying often. And make sure you cover every area you’re exposing as well. Feet can be easily forgotten and burn very easily. *** As you can see, my feet are pretty tan. This is a permanent tan I’ve had for several years – started in Chicagoland, deepened in Arizona and perfected here in Florida.
Drink plenty, drink often. Do not get dehydrated here. No, this isn’t the dryness of Arizona, but you can easily get dehydrated in the Florida sun. As they say, by the time you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated. Theme parks have plenty of people who pass out every year from not having enough fluids in them, and while the parks are working to provide shade, that isn’t always possible. And even if you’re in the shade, being exposed to our heat can still cause dehydration.
Avoid alcohol. Ok, I”m not saying stop drinking, but the experts have said it; alcohol can add to drying you out. When its hot and sunny drink water instead and save the beer, wine and other adult beverages for the evening hours.