This week we have been fortuante enough to speak to an expert from LloydsPharmacy who very kindly took the time to share her expert advice and guidance on dealing with these unusually warm tempartures we are having here. These tip are also excellent to have if you are jetting off this summer too.
My pair are blue eyed, blonde and pale so preventing sunburn is very important, Rebecca has set out her top tips to prevent sunburn below:
We all know that sunburn is a huge risk factor for skin cancer, but did you know that much of the UV damage that leads to skin cancer happens in the early years of life. All children are at risk of UV damage, even those who tan easily.
- Wear sunscreen, SPF 15 or higher in adults and SPF 30 or higher in kids and reapply every TWO hours.
- Stick to the shade where you can to limit your exposure to UV rays. Babies under 6 months should be kept in the shade as much as possible. Make sure the shade casts a dark shadow.
- Cover up as much sun-exposed skin as possible and wear a wide-brimmed hat made of cloth, or other close-woven material to give shade to the face, neck, head and ears.
- Don’t forget to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, sun exposure over time can lead to cataracts and cancer.
- These tips apply whether you’re at home or away, UV damage is just as harmful from Irish sun as abroad. We’re getting an unusually hot spell right now but everyone needs to take just as much care on cloudy but bright days – up to 90% of UV rays can pass through cloud.
I am always very aware at getting liquids into the boys during this heat. Some tips from Rebecca include:
- Water should be given to counteract dehydration in hot or humid weather and should be drunk before you get to the stage of feeling thirsty.
- Oral rehydration solutions such as Dioralyte replace salts, as well as water, lost through sweating.
- Kids should be encouraged to drink water or a sports drink before, during and after any exercise in hot weather.
- Adults should remember that tea, coffee and other caffeine containing drinks are diuretics and can worsen rather than help dehydration. The same goes for another diuretic, alcohol!
- Children in cars need special attention as temperatures in cars can reach dangerously high levels very quickly. Children should never be left in a parked car.
- If a child suddenly becomes dizzy, nauseated or weak in hot weather, bring them inside or at least in the shade. Give them lots of water or a sports drink and cool them down with a tepid shower or a sponge bath and fan air over their moist skin. Seek medical attention if their symptoms get worse or last for more than an hour.
- Also avoid sun in the middle of the day, ideally between 11 and 4pm as sunburn stops your body from cooling itself down properly. Wear loose, light clothing that will allow the sweat to evaporate by allowing air to flow around the skin. Avoid dark clothing as this absorbs more heat than light colours.
My husband and son suffer from hayfever so I was keen to hear what Rebecca had to say on this subject. Tips for preventing hayfever symptoms:
- Use Prevalin nasal spray (drug-free product that forms a gel inside the nose) or rub Vaseline around the bottom of the nose to trap pollen.
- Keep doors and windows of house and cars closed.
- Channel your inner Monica from “Friends” – get the vacuum out for regular use and damp dust all surfaces.
- Don’t dry any clothes or sheets outside – lots of pollen will get trapped in them.
- Change clothes as soon as you after coming inside and rinse your hair.
- Keep pets outside the house – they’ll have lots of pollen lodged in their fur.
- Minimise the amount of time spent in grassy areas.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to keep pollen out of eyes.
- Don’t smoke or let anyone smoke around you – this worsen symptoms.
- Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house.
- Antihistamines reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction. They’re available as tablets, liquid, nasal sprays and eye drops. Many are available over the counter. The tablets and liquids can take up to 24 hours to improve symptoms.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops have an anti-inflammatory effect are often used for persistent hayfever that isn’t responding to antihistamines and can be used in conjunction with them. They are better than antihistamines at relieving the nasal symptoms but can also relieve itchy watery eyes. They do take time to kick in however; it can often take 1 – 2 weeks before improvement is seen. Three of the sprays are available over the counter; two for adults only, one for adults and kids over 12 years.
- Decongestants in spray, drop and tablet form reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in the nose to relieve nasal congestion. Most are available over the counter. The spray and drop forms shouldn’t be used for longer than 7 days.
- Corticosteroid tablets are sometimes prescribed by GPs for rapid short-term relief from severe symptoms.
- Immunotherapy treatment has been used in more recent years for persistent symptoms. It involves gradually introducing you to small amounts of the allergen (e.g. pollen) 3 months before the pollen season. The aim is to gradually build up immunity to the allergen so that your allergic reaction to it becomes less severe.
The million dollar question in our house at the minute is how to help the kids sleep better in these high temperatures. Its so unsual to still see 20+ late in the evenings. Rebecca share some tips here:
- Use loose fitting, cotton pyjamas that will soak any sweat up off their skin rather than leaving them damp and sticky. This will allow their skin to breathe.
- Slightly dampen bedsheets and curtains with a fine mist of water to cool them down.
- Don’t let kids share beds in hot weather, they can keep cool better on their own.
- In very hot weather there’s often no need for a duvet, a sheet will do if kids want to be covered. If they really want a duvet get a summer tog, you can get a 3 tog very light duvet, sometimes even lower than this. You can even put the duvet or sheets in the freezer to really cool them down before they drift off to the land of nod!
- If you have a fan in their bedroom, put a shallow bowl or roasting pan filled with ice in front of it, the air will pick up cold water from the melting ice creating a cooling mist in the room.
- For a cold compress that won’t melt, fill a sock with rice, tie it off and pop it in the freezer for an hour. Put it on kids pulse points at wrists, neck, elbows, behind knees or ankles to cool them down fast.
- If kids are very hot before bedtime, give them a quick tepid shower and let the water evaporate off their skin rather than drying them with a towel.
- Leave a cool cup of water by their bed in case they wake up thirsty having sweated a lot in bed.
- Switch off all electrical plug sockets in the bedrooms, you’d be surprised how much heat they kick out.
- Upstairs rooms are normally hottest, if you have a downstairs bedroom let them sleep there where it’s cooler.Don’t forget to keep their bedtime routine, it’s a temptation when the days are longer and we’re getting hot days to keep kids up later. In some kids this can really affect their sleep patterns.
Thanks so much to Rebecca Barry who is a Pharmacist at LloydsPharmacy Castletoy.
We really appreciate you taking the time to share you top tips for dealing with hayfever, sunburn, dehydration and sleep. I know I have learned a lot from this and I have no doubt The Mamma Fairy Readers will too.
This isnt paid/ sponsored or an adveertisement im merely passing on some top tips which are invaluable during this very unusual warm spell. Please note if you do have any concerns always see your Pharmacist or GP.