Summer is here! Who doesn’t want to be outside enjoying fun activities in the sun? Here are a few tips that will help you to avoid the unwanted consequences of sunburn and it’s long term damaging effects due to overexposure.
- Check the UV index for the day of your outing. The UV index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways to prevent sun exposure.
- Make you plans around the sun. Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. Keep in mind that the sun is strongest between 10:00am and 4:00pm.
- Find a shady spot or make your own shade. When planning a picnic, search for a spot under a tree or take a large beach umbrella or a canopy to the beach. Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun. Even when in the shade, remember that UV rays bounce off sand and water. These simple measures can reduce the risk of multiple burns by 30%
- Cover up! Wearing clothes such as shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Wear a hat with a wide brim that shades your face, ears and the back of your neck. You can reduce the risk of damaging sun exposure by 27% just by covering up.
- Protect your eyes. Sunglasses are essential when protecting your eyes from UV radiation, they are not simply a fashion accessory; they can reduce the risk of cataracts and protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Don’t get burned! Red, sore, blistered skin means you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunscreen should actually be your last line of defense against sun damage. When using sunscreen make sure it has a sun protective factor of 15 or higher with both UVA and UVB protection. Don’t forget that sunscreen wears off and you should reapply often. Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s website to get the score on your current sunscreen product and for a guide to choosing safer sunscreen products.