Beating the Heat While Vacationing in the Caribbean

Vacationing in the Caribbean can be like visiting a little piece of paradise, but all that fun in the warm island sun can quickly turn into a disaster. Many vacationers take for granted that the sun is not only a source of enjoyment, but also of extreme heat that can cause severe health problems if the right precautions are not taken. Vacationers should be aware that the sun's powerful rays can damage skin and cause fatigue, dehydration, and other heat-related illnesses, such as heat-stroke. By taking a few preventive measures before heading to the beach, travelers can avoid some very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situations.

Some Helpful Tips:

Staying healthy during your Caribbean retreat does not necessarily mean absolutely avoiding the sun. Beach-bums and sun worshiping visitors do not have to give up their afternoon in the sand. Rather, travelers can spend time outdoors enjoying the sun in a healthy way as long as they keep in mind a few helpful tips. For a safe and sunny Caribbean vacation, remember:

Sunscreen can prevent very painful skin irritations and burns that are caused by the sun's powerful UV rays as well as various types of skin cancers that have been associated with exposure the sun. When applying the lotion, pay extra attention to sensitive areas like your ears, nose, shoulders, eyelids, and the tops of your feet. It can be easy to get thought up in all of the exciting outdoor activities the region has to offer, and wearing sunscreen may be the last thing on your mind. But bear in mind that severe sunburn can occur in less than 20 minutes in the Caribbean, and insist on regular applications!

Protective clothing can also block the sun's harmful rays from burning delicate skin. Light colored clothing reflects the sunlight, whereas dark clothing absorbs it. When packing for a trip, travelers should try to pack light, airy clothing, including cotton items, in order to stay cool outdoors. Other protective items that can be worn to lessen the effects of the sun's potentially harmful rays are sunglasses to protect sensitive eyes, aloe vera to soothe sun-exposed skin, and hats to protect the face and scalp.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, if you're going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time. Many travelers fall victim to dehydration, which can happen suddenly. If you start feeling dizzy or nauseous, or if you develop a headache after being exposed to the sun, seek medical attention.

Find shady spots. Many of the region's islands have beaches that are adorned with lush palm trees. Not only are these trees beautiful to look at, but they also provide an excellent source of shade where beachgoers can escape scorching afternoon temperatures.

Along with these solar suggestions, there are a few other things that travelers can do to beat the heat while vacationing in the Caribbean. First, gauge the severity of the sun's rays before heading out on your excursion by looking for your shadow. If your shadow is not visible, there is a higher chance that you can get burned than if you can see it. Also, the sun is at its most powerful between the hours of 11:00 am and 3:00 pm, so you may want to plan your out either before or after the heat is at its peak. And when making a splash in the salty ocean waters remember that your chances of getting sunburned increase while you're in the water.

The sun poses a potential health hazard to vacationers but severe illness can easily avoid by taking a few precautionary measures. After heeding these tips, you'll find you can still enjoy plenty of sunshine and fun during your Caribbean vacation.