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It’s that time of year when everyone gathers outside to soak up some sun, relax and enjoy summer. But this lifestyle can carry huge risks and the sun can cause a lot more harm than good. Many people rush outside to try and get a tan at the first opportunity, after all a bit of colour after a long winter seems so tempting. However English sun is a lot more dangerous than people realise. The phrase “It’s okay, I won’t get burnt, it’s only England” is said all too often, but it’s surprising how many people are proven wrong. There are a few things to watch out for, to guarantee you enjoy your summer without getting ill:
Burning: A hot day after a long period away from the sun can cause skin to burn very quickly and easily. Just wearing a low factor sun cream can prevent risks such as skin cancer, without restricting your skin to some colour. This can differ between every person, however typically fair skin and light-coloured hair may need a higher factor, being more at risk of sun-damage. Make sure you re-apply throughout the day; after all, sun burn isn’t a good look for anyone.
Eye Damage: This is becoming a more serious problem, particularly cataracts. Over-exposure to sunlight can weaken the outer layer of the eye, causing unnecessary damage to your sight. Wearing sun-glasses in summer can reduce this risk. With a huge range to choose from, there really is no excuse not to.
Dehydration: Hot weather requires everyone to drink a lot more water than they usually would. Dehydration can immediately cause head-aches or dizziness. Drinking plenty of fluids, particularly water, is an easy way to stay alert and avoid illness. There are plenty of places to re-fill water bottles on campus without having to spend too much on drinks, so take these opportunities whenever possible.
Damaged Hair: The sun can leave your hair dry and brittle, particularly for those of you with coloured hair. To avoid damage, condition regularly to try and maintain the moisture and keep it healthy. Alternatively, hats are a great way to protect your hair and scalp from sun-damage and are a great fashion accessory this summer.
Hay Fever: There’s always pollen about at the start of summer, and this year is no exception with lots of people suffering from hay fever. Taking antihistamines regularly allows you to keep hay fever under control. Anyone can get this, whether you’ve had it before or not, and there’s no need to let it stop you enjoying the hot weather.
Stress: You may think of summer as relaxing, and in many respects it is. Being able to sit outside in fresh air can relax people a lot more than being stuck inside. However, this time of year brings exams. Seeing family and friends enjoying the nice weather can be difficult when you need to concentrate on work, but by allocating an hour or so each day to sit outside as a break can keep stress under control. Exams won’t last forever, so staying positive is essential.
There are plenty of ways to avoid health problems this summer so follow these easy steps, don your new summer accessories and enjoy the sun even more.