Tag Archives: Sunburn

Summer Safety Begins Here

Take it slow, dudes. Take it slow.

Really that’s the best advice I’ve got for you right now. And it all has to do with summer being so very close to us here in the United States.

Sure it’s still early May and, for most of us, it’s still relatively cool, not yet kicking up the sweat-soaked, walking in a warm pool of wet air feeling of summer, but that weather is coming. And we’re getting the first breakthrough bits of it right here and right now.

To get ready, you’re going to have to take it easy.

By that, I mean you’re going to need to move slowly as you reacquire habits that, at the end of summer last year, were second nature and very, very easy.

For instance, by the end of last summer, I surely remembered every day to wear a hat when I went out of the house. Not to keep off the rain, but to keep off the sun. Being bald, I have no hair to shade my poor, helpless scalp. If I didn’t wear a hat, I’d get sunburned badly. Again.

Sure I remembered at the end of summer, but at the start? Not a chance. I remember one summer, probably in late April, I went to one of Sarcasmo’s soccer games outside. It wasn’t that warm. I didn’t wear a hat. I got so sunburned, I couldn’t sleep on a pillow that night. I felt like I was burning up. And then, after the pain finally went away, the itching began. Horrible.

All because I hadn’t yet returned to the habit of wearing a hat outdoors.

It’s the same thing with, for instance, shorts. By the time summer took its leave last year, you were used to wearing shorts outside, had a sufficient tan that you didn’t need to slather on the sunblock every single time you went outside for more than 10 minutes?

Now, though? With those pasty white legs? Even that darker skin isn’t going to protect you as good as it did after a summer’s worth of sun. Start slow. Put on a lot of sunscreen when you wear shorts. Make sure to put it on the back of your knees, work it up under the end of the shorts so you don’t expose untreated skin when you sit down. Wear sunscreen on your arms, on your face and head.

Nobody wants skin cancer, but getting a sunburn a couple of times a year is a good way to get a nice crop of cancers started. It’s not a good thing, dudes. To avoid a lot of the risk, just be covered — either in sunscreen or UVA-blocking clothing.

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Taking A Break From The Sun

by Richard

There’s that old saying about something being as smooth as a baby’s bottom. That means something is very smooth and soft. Not because it is wet and sticky and smelly. They’re talking post change, not pre change.

Anyway, baby skin is so smooth and soft because the only thing it’s been exposed to was a nice nutrient-packed bath for nine months or so, followed by pampering and suchlike.

As opposed to, say, older dudes who have done things to their skin, horrible things. Who here hasn’t made a long, sliding dive into gravel? Or on the asphalt? Or worked with lawn tools or just plain tools long enough that you start developing blisters? Yeah, I didn’t think I’d see any hands up with those questions.

However, one thing babys definitely have over us in the race for soft skin, is that theirs hasn’t been damaged by the sun for almost every day of every week of every month of every day of their lives.

It’s only relatively recently that people have begun to recognize the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays. UVA and UVB are what cause sunburn and blisters.

Fortunately, there is a better protection for our skin than sweating it out in long sleeves and long pants, or staying indoors with the curtains drawn all day. It’s called sunscreen.

We’re supposed to be using it every day, according to dermatologists. I’d love to, but I have a constitutional aversion to walking around all day feeling greasy.

Little dudes, on the other hand, don’t get much say in the matter. In addition to having delicate skin that really needs to be protected as much as possible. That’s where we come in.

You need to make sure you’ve added some good sunscreen to the little dude’s diaper bag before you go out. There’s two types of sunscreen, ones that block the sun’s rays from being absorbed and ones that destroy the damaging rays after they’ve become absorbed. It’s those last kinds that are known to cause stinking. And, dude, believe me, you don’t want to be the one who puts the stinging kind of sunscreen onto a little dude’s face. That is not fun.

Try to find a sunscreen that is designed to physically block the sun’s damaging rays, one that will not sting and one that is intentionally formulated to be used on the face. It’s not that hard, but we’ll leave that as an exercise for the student to complete.

While you do need to make sure you cover your little dude’s face well with the sunscreen, you don’t have to trowel it on. Just get a good, even coat. Try to apply it every day, especially during the summer. Just as important, try and keep the little dudette out of the most powerful sun’s rays, between 10 am and 4 pm. That’s a bad time for soft, fragile skin to be out and about.

After all, we want that skin to stay smooth and soft for as long as possible.

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The Healing Touch And All The Pain It Causes

by Richard

I’ve been the cause of a lot of screaming, flinching and crying lately. Oops. Sorry.

The thing is, though, it’s my job. As the parent most often in contact with the young dudes, I’m also the first line responder on all medical emergencies, particularly those of the splinter variety.

Call me Dr. Dad.

The strange thing is their mom is an actual doctor, with an M.D. after her name. She went to doctor school and everything. Sure, she focused her career on treating womanly bits rather than manly bits, but she does know the basics. And, yet, when they’ve got a “sprained ankle” or a “broken arm,” it’s Dr. Dad to whom the young dudes come running.

I can only smile, shrug and hope I’ll not be paying for it later.

Because of the marked increase in scrapes, bruises and all-round injuries about this time of year (the weather is warming up considerably and people are heading out on legs not quite used to so much running around), I’ve been putting on the Dr. Dad stethoscope a lot lately and I’ve noticed something.

As Dr. Dad, my first response to any sort of injury, including cuts and scrapes and suchlike, is the Parental Prod. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about here.

Basically grab ahold of the injured limb, extend the index finger on the other hand and then poke at the injury.

I’m not exactly sure what this is supposed to accomplish, but it’s something I tend to do every time someone comes crying to me about an injury. Which pretty much inevitably leads to the young dude crying out afresh because I’ve been doing the Parental Prod on a sore bit.

If I had to guess as to why I’m doing it, it would be probably because I need to know where exactly it hurts, what the pain feels like (sharp like a pin or overall like a sunburn), or how easy I think it will be to get that splinter out. It’s not because I’m a sadistic son-of-a-gun who enjoys causing pain. I don’t care what they told you. I’m not! (as far as you can prove)

You’d think with the reaction I get from the Parental Prod (which normally leads to the next step: band aids or the tweezers), the young dudes would be more likely to go to their mom, but that’s not the case. Maybe it’s because of the time she took out a speculum and told them what it was for.

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