It is nice and warm outside and you cannot wait to spend the day outdoors with your friends or family, swimming, having a picnic, playing some games or just having a great day outside.
But be careful, the sun can be very harmful to our skins and we need to take precaution to prevent this.
The sun plays an important role in our lives as well as for plants. We will not be able to exist without the sun. If gives us vitamin D that help our bodies take up calcium which is important for strong bones, but like everything in life, to much of something can do harm.
Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun's heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth.
You can read more here about the 'importance of the sun'.
We do not all have the same types of skin and some people get burned in the sun much faster than others. If you have a fair skin and light or red hair, you will have to take more care of yourself than someone with a darker skin that tans in the sun and not get burned easily.
Our skins differ because of the amount of 'melanin' in your skin. The more melanin you have in your skin, the darker it will be and the more it will be able to absorb and reflect the UV rays from the sun.
It does not matter if you have a dark or light skin, it is always a good idea to protect yourself against the rays of the sun. Even if you have a dark skin, the sun can still cause damage.
- make sure you use sunblock or some sunscreen especially between 10 and 2 in the afternoon when the sun is at its hottest
- get yourself a hat or cap that will protect your face from the sun
- use some lip balm with UV protection so that your lips do not dehydrate totally and become very dry
- wear sunglasses that can protect your eyes from the sun
- make sure you drink enough water on a very hot day since you will sweat more and loose water from your body - prevent dehydration
Be sure to put sunscreen all over your body. This includes some places you might not think of, like the tops of your ears, the back of your neck, the part in your hair, your face, and the tops of your feet. You may need some help reaching the back of your body so ask your parents or friends to give you a hand. If you want to block the sun's rays, wear clothing that you can't see your hand through. You may still get burned through more sheer fabrics.
Does it feel like you are overheating? You can have something called 'heat exhaustion'. You will feel very tired and totally drained and very hot. If you feel like that, you need to know that you have been in the sun too long and you will have to go indoors and take in enough fluids to give your body a chance to cool down.
If you keep staying in the sun when you feel like this, you can get something called 'heat stroke'. Your body will be red or with blotches all over and your body will not be able to sweat. This can make you very sick and you can feel dizzy and disorientated and can even faint. If a person has heat stroke, they will need medical attention straight away.
If you feel in any way 'overheated', move out of the sun or tell someone who can help you.
The sun can cause a lot of harm to our skins in the long run and every time your get sunburned, you are causing more damage to your skin.
If you look after yourself, you can have a lot of fun outside in the sun. Just remember your sunscreen, hat and water and enjoy the day.
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