Nobody immune to sun's dangers

Justin
Justin Crann
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When it comes to the sun's heat and potential to burn, nobody is invincible.

The first rule of sun safety: wear sunscreen.

Take it from Michael Brenholen, director of operations with St. John Ambulance in Regina. 

Though he has never been sunburned, he has seen heat exhaustion from the perspective of a professional treating it, and a victim suffering through it.

"It was complicated by the fact I was flying," Brenholen told the Times-Herald on Wednesday. "The altitude added to the severity. It would have been just a minor situation, but it escalated a little bit."

The situation ended out all right for Brenholen: he drank some water, rehydrated himself and eventually everything got back to normal.

That isn't the case for everyone — especially people who work out in the sun.

"When you're in the heavy heat, or even in the shade on hot summer days, you can come down with heat exhaustion or have a heat stroke," Brenholen explained. "It's always good to drink some good fluids, mainly non-caffeinated beverages. Water is best."

He said when the mercury rises, the St. John Ambulance deals with a lot of cases, especially at sporting events.

"Spectators often forget when they're in the stands that they are being exposed to a lot of heat," said Brenholen. "We notice a big difference between cloudy and sunny days."

Equally troublesome are sunburns, which can be combatted with "any kind of sunscreen — at the very least, an SPF 30," and by minimizing exposure.

Ultimately, however,  sun safety boils down to that one irrefutable fact.

"There's no such thing as invincibility," asserted Brenholen. "Enjoy the summer, and have fun. But remember to keep it safe."

Find Justin Crann on Twitter.

Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Regina

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