You’re not supposed to get ill in the summer. It’s a time for healthy tans and frolicking in the great outdoors. But summertime and summer holidays bring with them their own hazards, from sunburn to getting stung by a jellyfish. But should you pee on it? Yahoo! Lifestyle busts five popular summer health myths…
1. Wee on a jellyfish sting to ease the pain
Nope, unfortunately for those of you who’ve tried it (ahem, Monica, we’re talking to you), urine does not nutralise the effect of a jellyfish sting so peeing on yourself or getting a friend to help is pretty useless.
What you should do is get out of the sea straightaway in case the slimy blighters are out in droves, and pour seawater over the sting to sooth the soreness. Vinegar is actually really good for this too, as it’s more acidic, but unfortunately you are fairly unlikely to have any in your beach bag.
2. Aeroplane air will make you ill
Breathe. It’s really not as bad as you thought. Though some of the air in the cabin is recycled, it’s only about 50 percent. The rest is sucked in through the engine and what is recycled has to pass through ultra filters that remove dust, bacteria and some (though not all) viruses.
But the bad news is that you are more likely to catch something from the plane thanks to your sniffling fellow passengers. Just like any confined and cramped space, germs are more likely to come your way so stock up on orange juice when the drinks trolley comes round.
3. A tan stops you burning
Not like a sunscreen, it won’t! A tan is the evidence that your skin has already been damaged by UV rays, as it produces melanin to protect itself, giving you that glowing colour. But the protection is slight (much less than the factor 15 that's the minimum we're advised to wear) and won’t do a lot to protect you from the damaging rays that cause skin cancer. So slather up.
[Related story: Easy steps to the perfect fake tan]
[Related story: Sunburn - effective ways to soothe it]
4. Squeezing a bee sting removes the poison
When a bee stings you it injects a venomous sack that can burst if you squeeze. So the short answer is ‘no’. But what you can do is scrape the sting out with a flat edge, such as a credit card. Make sure the sting is totally clean and then put a cold cloth on it.
Bee stings can cause anaphylactic shock so if you feel unwell, have headaches, wheezing, feel faint or start swelling up elsewhere on your body, call an ambulance immediately.
5. The darker the sunglasses lenses, the better for your eyes
To be worth wearing, sunglasses should give your eyes 100 percent protection against UV rays (so it might be time to ditch those fake Ray Bans you bought in Thailand last summer). Dark lenses actually allow your pupils to dilate and let in more light and - potentially – harmful rays. Before you buy a pair, check the label for one of these confirmations: CE Mark and British Standard (BS EN 1836:1997), a UV 400 label, or a statement that the glasses offer 100 percent UV protection. If it has that, it doesn’t really matter how shady the shades.