It’s Summertime :: Protect your Family from the HEAT!

It’s summer in Houston, and all Houston moms know there are two things you need when you walk out the door :: bug spray and SUNSCREEN! Sunscreen is one item that is always on my Costco/bulk shopping list because it is a necessity every day {especially for my sunburn-prone babies}! As a mom of two, I worry about the kids playing outside :: What do they wear? How long until I reapply the sunscreen? What time can they go outside? We are thankful for our partnership with Next Level Urgent Care and Dr. Robbyn Traylor, their Chief Medical Officer, who answered all of our questions. 

It’s Summertime :: Protect your Family from the HEAT! | Houston Moms Blog

Heat exhaustion is a real concern in Houston. Dr. Traylor says, “Generally, our weather allows children of all ages to spend time outdoors engaged in activities ranging from fierce sports competitions to leisure strolls through the neighborhood.  Even our meals move outdoors. There is one caveat to summertime fun in Houston…the heat.” 

Direct sun exposure and sustained exposure to heat can be dangerous in Houston.  Many of our friends and neighbors work outside for a living.  Most people who spend extended periods in our sun on a regular basis wisely protect their skin with clothing.  Long sleeves, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat work beautifully to shield our skin from the onslaught of summer sunshine.

Speaking of burn, sunburn is the most common consequence of our sun exposure.  Just 10 minutes in direct sun exposure – that’s all it takes to fry. Unfortunately, we often fail to notice the assault on our skin until it’s too late.  So what is the best way to avoid sunburn?  Dr Traylor recommends, “Start with sunscreen and reapply every few hours.  This should be your family’s regular moisturizer in Houston.  Oftentimes, we don’t know when we will spend extended time in the sun.  The best way to defend yourself against powerful UV rays is to stay ready for the possibility that you may be outside for a while.  I recommend checking out the American Dermatology Association website for the best ideas on sunscreen. Staying inside, or seeking shade while outdoors at the hottest times of the day is also a good idea.”

Dehydration is another major consequence of prolonged heat exposure.  Like sun exposure, oftentimes we don’t realize we are water-deficient until it’s too late.  A trip outside to tend the garden, trim the trees, or water the lawn is enough to cause harm in those who forget to eat and drink.  Our children can also get dehydrated.  Kids are totally carefree in the summertime, but too many cartwheels in the summer sun may result in overheating. Keep your family and friends safe by reminding all to stay hydrated.  Sipping cool liquids often is the key to preventing dizziness and fainting. Cooling off with a frozen treat can also help! 

One of the best things about summer is having the freedom to forego rigorous schedules and make up the day as you go along.  Dr Traylor advises that we “keep a ready-bag in your vehicle with sunscreen.  You might also consider keeping a few empty water bottles in the bag so that you can fill them up at a local water fountain.  When you plan your spontaneous stroll through the park look for the tree-lined path.  And above all, make sure you pack your sense of humor.” 

It’s Summertime :: Protect your Family from the HEAT! | Houston Moms Blog

What happens if you don’t follow the plan? The American Academy of Dermatology gives tips on what to do if you do have a sunburn :: 

It’s important to begin treating a sunburn as soon as possible. In addition to stopping further UV exposure, dermatologists recommend treating a sunburn with::

  • Cool baths to reduce the heat.
  • Moisturizer to help ease the discomfort caused by dryness. As soon as you get out of the bathtub, gently pat yourself dry, but leave a little water on your skin. Then apply a moisturizer to trap the water in your skin.
  • Hydrocortisone cream that you can buy without a prescription to help ease discomfort.
  • Aspirin or ibuprofen. This can help reduce the swelling, redness and discomfort.
  • Drinking extra water. A sunburn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. Drinking extra water prevents dehydration.

With any sunburn, you should avoid the sun while your skin heals. Be sure to cover the sunburn every time you head outdoors. First-degree burns usually heal on their own without treatment from a doctor, but if you do feel uneasy and need help right away, our friends at Next Level Urgent Care are here to help with their 12 convenient locations around Houston! I feel at ease knowing I can pop into the location near me if I suspect heat exhaustion or a serious burn. Enjoy visiting the local splash pad or outdoor July festival knowing that you have back up in case something happens. 

It’s Summertime :: Protect your Family from the HEAT! | Houston Moms BlogConnect with Next Level Urgent Care below…

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About Robbyn L. Traylor, MD

Robbyn is a 6th generation Texan who was raised in Fort Bend county. She graduated from Kempner High School in 1997, and matriculated to Prairie View A&M University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. After this she attended the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine where she graduated in 2005. Dr. Traylor attended the Wesley Family Medicine residency program, and is now a board-certified family physician. During her professional career, she has gained experience in primary care, emergency medicine, and immediate care. Dr. Traylor has worked for Next Level Urgent Care since Spring of 2014 and now serves as Chief Medical Officer. She is grateful for the opportunity to provide quality care for patients of all ages in the greater Houston area. In her spare time Dr. Traylor enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her family. 


 

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