HEALTH WATCH: Ways to protect yourself in the sun

Updated: Wednesday, August 27 2014, 08:20 PM CDT
HEALTH WATCH: Ways to protect yourself in the sun story image
If the sun cooperates, lots of people will be getting outside to enjoy the last big weekend of summer.
Here are some tips on how to keep your holiday weekend from causing long-term health problems.

Hit the beach early enough and you can snag a prime spot. Hit the water early enough and you'll be the first one to the fish. But as you're packing in all that fun, don't forget about the sun.
People come here to worship it, but if they're not careful, the sun can do permanent damage.

Dr. Gary Pablo said, "People that repeatedly expose themselves to the sun, and don't use sunblock and protection, you're setting yourself up for skin cancer. Especially people that are fair, there's a very high incidence of melanoma in the community."

"There's one person that dies from melanoma every 57 minutes, so it's very scary and it's very real," said Kelly Hale who was diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, two years ago. "When I was diagnosed, and I was told you have cancer, your world is sort of turned upside down."

When she and her four children are outdoors, she takes every precaution, especially with her toddler. "Making sure he is covered with hat and the right clothing, 'cause you can buy uva/uvb protected clothing. And also applying your sunscreen every two hours, that's very important, and making sure you have the right sunscreen."

Sunburns and skin cancer aren't the only hazards on a summer holiday weekend.

Emergency room Physician Dr. Gary Pablo of Sacred Heart hospital on the Emerald Coast says people need to watch our for dehydration, especially when the water is keeping them cool.
He says alcohol speeds up dehydration, and it's often related to serous injuries. "One of the saddest things we see happen every year, we see people with broken necks. Neck fractures from diving into shallow water. They have a few beers, make a poor choice, dive into shallow water and end up paralyzed."

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HEALTH WATCH: Ways to protect yourself in the sun
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