Sun Safety

During this Summer season, don’t forget the key to fun in the sun: sun safety!

We want you and your family to be protected from those harmful ultraviolet rays and have plenty of time enjoying all of the warm sunny days that summer brings!

The three main sun safety tips to keep in mind are: apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade!

Sunscreen is typically thought of when planning a long beach day in the sun, but it is actually recommended to be worn every day of the year- yes, even on cloudy days!

This is because on overcast days the clouds only filter out between 10%-20% of the suns harmful ultraviolet rays.  This leaves your skin at the mercy of 80% of those harmful rays!

Yikes.

So, let’s talk about ways to armor up!

There is no such thing as a one and done sun protection method.

Wearing sun protective clothing is one step to maintaining a defense against those harmful rays, and with this method, it is somewhat obvious that more is more.

Ultimately the more that your body is covered the more likely you are to be protected from the sun.

Recommended attire includes hats, protective sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing.

For smaller children, hats should be flexible for comfort and should be wide enough to cover their face and neck areas.

Sun protective clothing is best when it is a thick, breathable, material and a little loose is better than too tight.

When an item is too tight the fabric may stretch allowing harmful rays to pass through and voiding the clothing item altogether.

All areas that are not covered by sun protective clothing should then be covered with sunscreen.

Sunscreen should be applied 20 – 30 minutes prior to entering into the sun to dry skin.

Using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is best for all ages.

Some may hoard their same bottle of sunscreen for years, only bringing it out into the light during those summer months.. be wary of this!

And, if you are that person, listen up…

If sunscreen is being used as directed (every day) then it should only last a few months before running out. Most people do not follow this guideline, therefore leading to a stockpile of sunscreen.

Most are unaware that sunscreen expires, and that also using expired sunscreen can be just as harmful as not using any sunscreen at all.

Typically sunscreen has the expiration date listed on the container, but in the event that it doesn’t, pay close attention to any odor or consistency change that occurs.

Never hesitate to throw out any questionable containers that you may have, and replace them with new.

When spending long periods of time outdoors it is important to be sure that you are being sun-safe, rather than sorry.

There is a certain period of the day when the UV index is higher than others, and it is especially important to be in command of your sun safety during this time.

A higher UV index means that the suns rays are stronger and more likely to cause sunburn from sun exposure, and it typically occurs between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Northern Hemisphere.

Try using and teaching the shadow rule when deciphering the intensity of UV rays; if your shadow is shorter than you are tall this means that the UV rays are more intense at that time.

Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours, or possibly more frequently depending on the outdoor activity.

Water, sand, and snow are all reflective of the suns rays and sunscreen should be reapplied more frequently when enjoying the sun in these elements.

Remember that sun safety and fun in the sun really do go hand in hand! The better protected that you and your family are, the healthier and happier each of you will be!

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