Health News

Staying Safe in the Sun

Sunny(er) days are here again. And with it comes outdoor little league games, beach days, pool parties and more.

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While regular, controlled exposure to the sun has a plethora of benefits, too much of good thing has its drawbacks. Overexposure to the sun can result in sunburn, wrinkles (yikes!), premature aging of the skin and even skin cancer.

To keep yourself and your family safe from the sun, follow these tips:

1. Limit your exposure to the sun during peak hours. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is most hazardous between 10 am and 4 pm, so seek shade during these hours.

2. Wear clothing that protects your skin like long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible. For maximum UV protection, make sure the fabric is dark and tightly woven. Remember that when your clothes are wet – such as when you are at the beach – your UV protection is lowered, and you must take additional steps to keep your skin safe.

3. Protect your eyes by getting a good pair of sunglasses. Effective sunglasses will block at least 99% of both UVA and UVB rays. While most sunglasses sold in the US meet this standard, it is always best to check with the manufacturer to ensure you’re investing in the safest possible pair of sunglasses.

4. Wide-brimmed hats are ideal for shading the face, head, ears and neck. Avoid straw hats that let in sunlight and baseball caps that do not cover the ears and back of the neck.

5. For even more added protection, always use sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30. Choose a sunscreen that offers broad spectrum protection – that is, offers both UVA and UVB protection. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, while UVA rays can cause skin cancer, premature skin aging and wrinkling.

6. Sunscreen wears off with time as well as after making contact with water, so be sure to reapply it after every two hours and or after you go swimming.

7. If you’re caught in the outside without sun protection, seek shade to minimize damage to your skin.


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