Sunburn versus sun poison: do your clients know the difference?

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Being in the sun for just 15 minutes can result in your skin being burned. However, it's important to explain to clients that when they have a sunburn, that doesn't necessarily mean that they now have sun poisoning. 

You can explain to seniors that sun poisoning and sunburn are caused by ultraviolet radiation that result in inflammation of the skin. The redness and discomfort typically doesn't show up for a few hours after individuals have had extensive exposure to the sun.

Signs of sun poisoning, or severe sunburn, include:

    • Skin redness and blistering
    • Dehydration
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea
    • Fever and chills
    • Headache
    • Swelling
    • Pain
    • Tingling

A sunburn is a lesser version of sun poisoning and typically only includes redness of the skin.

The worst pain is often felt within 6 to 48 hours of exposure. In addition to wearing plenty of sunscreen, you can have clients wear a hat or cap and protective clothing.

Providers of senior care services can ensure that their clients avoid sunburn and sun poisoning by applying adequate sunscreen and not keeping them outside for too long. You may also want to consider dressing them in protective clothing and making sure that they have a hat on when preparing to go out in the sun.

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