The summer months have arrived and everyone is headed outdoors. Getting outside and enjoying the sun is a good idea and has its benefits. We get vitamin D from the sunlight which helps prevent heart disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and boosts the immune system. Ten minutes of sunlight a day will give us the vitamin D that we need. It is also believed by some experts that sunlight can prevent depression actually protect your from breast, colon, ovary, bladder, womb, stomach, and prostate gland cancers (http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/sunshine/benefits).
But there are a some risks to be aware of when soaking up the sun. Over 1 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year and the ultraviolet rays from the sun are the major contributor to this disease. Babies are at an even greater risk as the skin does not produce the melanin that protects us from UV light. You should keep infants under 6 months completely out of the sun and young children and adults should apply SPF 30 or higher sun screen every 2 or 3 hours.
Dehydration and sunstrokes are a few other downsides to being outside. Look for early waring signs of hot and flushed skin, lack of sweat, high body temperature, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Be sure to drink plenty of water before you head out and pay close attention to anyone showing signs of the symptoms mentioned above.