As the middle of summer approaches, temperatures continue to rise, and vacations are being taken, are you practicing sun safety to protect yourself and your family? I recently went on vacation and this question crossed my mind several times each day. As my family and I were on the beach soaking in the Vitamin D, I was practicing sun safety. I was chasing my family down to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours. They were annoyed with me, but I knew they would be thankful to enjoy the rest of our vacation sunburn free and their skin would be thanking me in the future.
Did you know the sun’s ultraviolet rays could damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes? Repeated unprotected exposure to the sun can cause skin damage, eye damage, immune system depression, and skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually.
The following sun safety tips will help protect you and your family and allow you to enjoy the rest of the summer safely:
- Avoid being in the sun between 10am and 4pm. This is when the sun is the strongest.
- Use shade when being out in the sun, such as, umbrellas, trees, and canopies.
- Wear a hat and long sleeve tightly woven clothing when possible.
- Wear sunglasses.
- Use sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. Reapply sunscreen if you are out longer than 2 hours, or after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
- Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ears, behind neck, shoulders, hands, and feet. These are the most forgotten areas.
- Don’t forget the lips. Lip balms can be purchased with ingredients in them that are in sunscreen.
- Double check medications. Especially check antibiotics and acne medication since these can increase the skins sensitivity to UV rays.
- Don’t forget to practice sun safety on the cloudy days. These days can cause unexpected sunburns.
- Educate family and friends on how to enjoy fun in the sun safely.