Sun Protection: It Can Be a Lifesaver

One of the reasons people find the military or law enforcement an attractive career choice is the ability to spend the majority of their work day anywhere but behind a desk. For many, the thought of clocking in, sitting behind a desk for 8 hours and clocking out day after day is nothing short of depressing. But with every career choice’s positive aspects, there are also negatives – the other side of the coin. Sometimes this means a longer commute, poor hours or lower wages. When it comes to careers which allow you to spend the time outdoors, that tradeoff can be that you end up spending too much time in the sun.

Gone are the days when a deep bronze color and leather skin was a sign of being an honest blue collar man. While this may have once conjured images of salty old sailors, rugged cowboys or tough as nails outdoorsmen, now it is a sign of future health problems including deadly skin cancer. If you work outdoors, you owe it to yourself to learn the dangers and how to protect yourself.

  1. SunscreenWeather – the weather obviously plays an important part in deciding what protection you might need. Hotter summer days are more dangerous and can result in quicker damage than cool winter afternoons. But it is important to remember sun damage can occur at any time so you should always have the appropriate level of protection. Most local weather reports now include a section listing the forecast level of danger.
  2. Protective Gear – sun protection now goes far beyond sunscreen. Those who work outdoors can now select from a wide range of shirts, pants, face shields and even gloves specifically designed to offer maximum protection while still being comfortable in hot climates. The key is to wear loose fitting, light colored clothing with proper ventilation which covers as much of your exposed skin as possible. Sunscreen should then be applied to any visible skin and reapplied every two hours for day long protection.
  3. Eyes – quality sunglasses are vital when on the water – as the reflecting sun can not only damage your eyes but even cause temporary blindness. Be sure to select a style which is close fitting and protects from both UVA and UVB rays. For added on-the-water comfort, combine the necessary protection with polarized lenses which increase visibility both on and under the water.
  4. Hydration – your body depends on water for survival and even short term exposure to high temperatures can result in dangerous dehydration. Most experts recommend at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, if involved in physical activity in direct sun you may need to increase that even more. Drink regularly, even before you get thirsty and avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages until after you get to the club as both have the possibility of intensifying the effects of the sun. If you start to feel dizzy, experience a headache or cramps get out of the sun and drink more water as dehydration has already begun.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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