Florida Sunshine Survival Tips

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There’s a reason why Florida is known as the “Sunshine State”. This subtropical state has year-round sunshine making it gorgeous for a vacation, but it can catch visitors unawares if they are not taking some precautions. Dehydration, heat exhaustion, sunburn and sunstroke can spoil your vacation, yet they are very easy to avoid by following our Florida Sunshine Survival Tips.

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Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Wear Cool Loose Clothing

The best way to stay cool is by wearing clothing that is loose fitting and preferably made of cotton or natural fabrics. Loose dresses, shirts, tops and shorts are preferable to jeans and tight-fitting clothing if you are to stay looking and feeling cool and comfortable. Swap shoes and sneakers for open sandals. If you still feel hot and sweaty, use a handheld fan.

When the body sweats it loses fluid, salt and minerals. Water depletion can cause a dry mouth, headaches and fainting while symptoms of salt depletion include muscle spasms, cramps and vomiting.

Florida Sunshine Survival Tips | MustDo.com | Must Do Visitor Guides. Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Don’t Overdo the Sunshine

Heat stroke technically occurs when the body’s core temperature reaches 105°F or above. It can cause nausea, confusion, disorientation, seizures, fainting, cramps and shallow breathing as the body struggles to cool itself.

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Anyone showing these symptoms should be treated as a medical emergency. Remove any unnecessary clothing, cool the body by bathing with a cool flannel or put them in a cool air-conditioned room and seek medical advice. Give the sufferer plenty of cool drinks of water and monitor their symptoms carefully.

Lather up with SPF Sunscreen Frequently

Most Florida visitors diligently apply sunscreen first thing in the morning when they hit the beach. However, sunscreen does not last all day. The Sun Protection factor (SPF) indicates how much longer you can stay in the sun so SPF 15 means that a person who burns in 5 minutes is theoretically protected for 75 minutes. However, it is recommended that you reapply sun lotion every two hours and after you have been in the pool or sea.

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Photo credit Nita Ettinger

Sunscreen does not just prevent your skin from burning; it also screens out harmful ultra violet rays that can cause skin cancer. UVA rays cause wrinkles and premature aging, while UVB rays burn the skin, so choose a good quality sunscreen that keeps them both at bay.

MustDo.com | Sunshine Survival Tips | Slather on the sunscreen when vacationing in Florida.

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Drink Plenty of Water

Keeping your fluid intake high to counter the heat is important, However, drinking beer or alcoholic drinks can actually leave you more dehydrated than ever. If you drink a glass of beer your body will actually expel three times that amount leaving you dangerously dehydrated. The more alcohol you drink, the more dehydrated you will become as alcohol affects the body’s fluid levels.

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Eating salty snacks is another way to cause the body to lose fluid from its cells, and sugar-high sodas and sports drinks create a similar problem. You need to drink pure water throughout the day to counter dehydration, and avoid sweet or alcoholic drinks until the cooler evening. A tip for measuring whether you are drinking enough is to check you are visiting the bathroom as frequently as usual.

Must Do Visitor Guides Florida Sunshine Survival Tips

Photo credit Nita Ettinger

We want you to enjoy every minute of your vacation in southwest Florida, so make sure you pay attention to these sunshine survival tips and stay cool and healthy.

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Nita Ettinger is the co-publisher for Siesta Publications and the Editor in Chief for Must Do Visitor Guides. Must Do Visitor Guides provides Southwest Florida visitor information through printed publications and the website MustDo.com. Must Do Visitor Guides are published bi-annually and are available at no cost in Sarasota, Lee, and Collier County chambers of commerce, visitor information centers, select Southwest Florida hotels, and wherever free publications are found.

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