This Summer Sun Safety Month, we shed light to tips that will help you protect yourself and your family from the sun!
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can be harmful to your skin. In fact, most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to UV light. UV light mainly comes from the sun. But harmful UV light can also come from tanning beds and sun lamps. There are things you can do to help reduce exposure to UV light – for yourself and your children.
Stay in the shade
Staying in the shade is one of the best ways to help prevent UV exposure. Try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV light is strongest. Use the shadow test to see how strong the sun’s rays are. If your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest. Be sure to protect yourself.
Wear clothes to cover your skin
Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Some clothing is made with UV protection.
Use sunscreen and apply it correctly
Sunscreen can help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Use products with broad-spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays). And choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
Be sure to check the expiration date. Sunscreen is usually good for 2 to 3 years. And don’t forget to protect your lips by using a lip balm with sunscreen.
Sunscreen needs to be put on at least every 2 hours, but check the label just to be sure. Sunscreen can wash off when you sweat or swim and wipe off with a towel. So, sunscreen may need to be reapplied more often, even if it is “water resistant.”
Use at least 1 ounce of sunscreen (about a shot glass or enough to fill the palm of your hand) to cover your arms, legs, neck, and face. It’s important to remember that sunscreen is just a filter. It does not block all UV rays. Use it, but take other steps to protect yourself, too.
Even with sunscreen, you should limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. Sunscreen does not block all UV rays.
Wear a wide brim hat
Be sure that your hat protects the eyes, forehead, nose, scalp, and ears. A hat with a 2- or 3-inch brim all around is best.
Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
Large-framed and wraparound sunglasses protect best. Children need smaller versions of protective adult sunglasses – do not use toy sunglasses.
Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps
Tanning devices can cause long-term skin damage and increase your risk of skin cancer.
For more information, you can go to American Cancer Society‘s website to check out more tips on how to stay safe from harmful sun rays!