Saskatchewan residents welcome the summer heat, but healthcare professionals are reminding everyone that it's important to know the risks of the sun. 

Dr. David Torr, medical health officer for the southwest with the SHA, said the sun can cause damage ranging from irritating to life-threatening.

"The ultraviolet rays can cause irritations on the skin, which can give you, for example, sunburn, but they can also contribute to acquiring skin cancer," he said. "At the same time, sun exposure and the UV light can affect your eyes and can accelerate certain processes, for example, development of cataracts. So, it's important to protect not only the skin but also protect the eyes."

On the other hand, high summer temperatures can affect brain function -- from causing dizziness, to fainting attacks, to causing a coma, and even permanent brain damage. 

Hydration is one of the biggest shields against the heat. Dr. Torr advised to not wait until feeling thirsty before drinking water, but rather to drink consistently throughout the day especially if spending time outside.

Applying sunscreen to any exposed skin, seeking shade whenever possible, and wearing sunglasses that are verified UV400 are sine easy preventative steps to take. 

"Clothing also matters," he added. "Wearing light clothing and bright clothing because dark coloured clothing will attract more heat. Wide brim hats are very good because they will again protect you from a lot of the direct ultraviolet and direct heat coming to you on the head.

"There used to be different kinds of hypotheses, but it's been found that everybody is prone [to risks of the sun], not any particular person."

One question he receives quite often is the order of applying insect repellent and sunscreen: the SPF should be put on first, since bug spray works to repel insects with its scent which would be masked by sunscreen if applied to the skin first.