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Florida Guide > Planning your Trip

Safety in the Florida Sunshine

If you have never been anywhere other than Europe for your holiday you will need to treat the Florida sunshine very differently. It is exactly like the tropics and sunburn can be very dangerous not just painful.

Too often, a day in the Florida sun can result in a scorching sunburn or another form of heat stress. Even mild sunburns can cause days of misery, while some extreme cases can require treatment by a doctor. Taking the time to protect yourself and your family from the sun will result in a more enjoyable holiday and possibly avoid an expensive trip to the doctor.

The last thing you need is to have your holiday spoiled by three to four days of extreme agony with sunburn – I know, I have had it myself and I would not ever wish to have it again.

It is easy to forget when you are visiting a theme park, that you will be in the hot sun for a great deal of the day, so do remember the sun cream before you leave. Apply it well before you leave home and then carry a small bottle with you for topping up during the day. If you forget, it will be very expensive to buy some once you are in the park. Always be extra careful with babies and small children they will suffer the most with their very delicate skin. Keep a hat on them at all times especially try and get one that has a flap at the back which will cover the back of their necks. This is the one place people often forget but the most likely place for sunstroke to occur.

Prevention Tips

Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours (11am to 3pm).

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before swimming or going outside. Reapply often and read the directions on your sunscreen product carefully.

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, paying special attention to the face, nose, ears and shoulders. If you have extremely fare skin choose a higher SPF. I use a factor 30 and I still get a good tan. The new once a day lotions such as Ultrasun and P20 save a lot of hassle but are not readily available in Florida so take it with you. I have even known people to burn whilst using these two products so do take some extra protection out with you to reapply if you feel you may be burning. Many people these days take a light coloured umbrella to shelter under and it also comes in handy for that unexpected shower of rain.

Do not be fooled by thinking you can not get sunburned when it is cloudy. That is when it is most dangerous as you will not feel the burn until the next day.

Wear sunglasses with UV (Ultraviolet) Protection.

Wear a hat and cover your shoulders with your towel or shirt.

Do take sunburn very seriously and seek medical help if you get badly burned.

Never fall asleep in the sun without knowing there is someone to wake you if you are burning.

Always have a bottle of water with you and drink frequently even if you are not thirsty. This will help avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion which can be just as dangerous as bad sunburn.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 17 June 2009
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