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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tip Tuesday: Dealing with the sun

Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

The warmer (and more sun-intense) months are here and that means it's time to start adding some things to your bags when you come to Disney.

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I've seen countless people who seem to forget this most basic of tips when it comes to visiting Walt Disney World during the warmer months -- use sunscreen and a hat.

"Yeah, yeah, I know," I can hear some saying. Trouble is, these are the same people who end up red as Sebastian the crab by the end of the first day in the parks or having to go to the hospital for sun poisoning.

Many guests visiting Walt Disney World come from places in the continental U.S. or Europe -- where sunscreen and hat use isn't a daily practice. Then they get down to Florida where the intensity of sunlight is a little (or a lot) stronger than back home. Instead of taking the proper precautions, they go out and enjoy a day at the parks thinking that they'll be inside most of the time and won't get a sunburn.

Wrong.

For the average person, it only takes about 10 minutes of exposure to the sun (without any protection) to get sunburned. This is especially true between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It can take 10 minutes to just walk from Tomorrowland to Frontierland (especially if there are some crowds).

If that same person put on some strong sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher), it would take about 8 hours to develop a sunburn (though I wouldn't suggest testing that figure). This is most important for kids, especially smaller children.

Also, one application really isn't enough. You need to put on additional sunscreen towards afternoon - most people sweat off the first layer of sunscreen (or go to the pool where it washes off) even sunscreens that say they're "waterproof."

Wearing a hat (especially a wide brimmed hat) will give even more protection, especially to those most sunburn-prone areas like the tops of ears and the back of the neck.

Interestingly enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control, a dark-colored, tightly-woven shirt provides more protection than a light-colored, loosely-woven shirt. I don't know that the dark shirt is as comfortable to wear, but that's another discussion.

Finally another bit some people tend to forget -- water, water, water. Keep yourself hydrated. You'd be amazed at how much liquid you sweat away when outside in warm temperatures. It's very easy to get dehydrated.

If you take a few precautions, you won't end up having a miserable trip because you're dealing with a bad sunburn, or, worse, sun poisoning.

Coming up in a future Tip Tuesday post -- some ways to beat the Florida heat while at the parks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget to protect your lips too. They are very vulnerable to the Sun!

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