Although it is far more fun to think about the fish you’re going to catch, if you’re in charge of a crew that includes children and less experienced anglers, then it’s up to you to make sure everyone is safe and protected. That means being knowledgeable about common threats to your crew’s safety, and among those, overexposure to the sun can be the most harmful. As much as the sun is associated with sun kissed tans and healthy outdoor activities, too much of it can cause dangerous short or long-term ailments. While almost everyone has experienced a sunburn, few have an understanding of the more severe conditions that can be caused by the sun, especially when dehydration becomes a factor. Recognizing the symptoms and knowing how to treat these increasingly serious sun ailments can enable you to save someone before permanent damage is done.
Regardless of how tough a hunter, angler, or outdoorsman you might be, no one wants to walk around with the bright red skin of a lobster. Odds are, we’ve all seen and been this person at one time or another, but what is actually happening when we get sunburned? The light from the sun consists of three types of UV rays, and two of the three types actually penetrate your skin and can do damage inside of your body. Excessive UV rays go beyond just frying your skin, and can permanently alter your DNA, damage your organs, and cause you to show signs of aging earlier than normal. Essentially, the sunburn you get is just like any other burn, and can be first, second, or third degree depending on severity. While prevention methods like sunscreen and wearing sun-resistant clothing are preferred, if you’ve already been sunburnt, then regular applications of Aloe and doses of Ibuprofen can ease the pain and minimize swelling.
When sun damage goes beyond a simple sunburn, it can lead to heat cramps, sun poisoning, or even more serious conditions like heat exhaustion. For heat exhaustion to occur, the victim must either have a severe lack of salt or water in their body, meaning that their body cannot cool itself by sweating. If someone in your group is experiencing symptoms like dizziness, clammy skin, and severe thirst, then the situation may have just gone from annoying sunburn to life-threatening heat exhaustion. In such a case, help the victim by getting them out of the sun and hydrated as soon as possible.
The most serious of the sun-illnesses, heat stroke is the final rung on the sun damage hierarchy, and is considered a medical emergency. Often, symptoms like heat cramps or heat exhaustion will be present before heat stroke, but it can also spring up as a lone ailment if body heat rises while dehydrated. The main symptom that is used to diagnose heat stroke is a body temperature higher than 105 degrees. If someone is experiencing hallucinations or seizures due to severe heat, then coma or death may be next, so get the person hydrated and to a hospital while cooling down their body temperature to save them.
Stay Safe with Sun Protection Apparel
The sun is great in moderate amounts, but prolonged exposure can bring a host of heat-related problems, ranging from annoying sunburn, to life-threatening heat stroke. If you notice the symptoms of any of the heat-illnesses, it’s critical to get the victim out of the sun and hydrated immediately. Luckily, all of these conditions can be prevented by using sunscreen, wearing sun-protective clothing, and staying well-hydrated during outdoor excursions. Mojo Sportswear offers clothing lines like the Dolphin line that includes board shorts, face covers, hats, and shirts with UPF 50 protection to keep you completely covered from any chance of sun damage. Get your sun protective fishing gear today before you hit the water on your next fishing trip.