The summer sun has finally arrived, and everyone is spending more time outdoors. Before you grab your family and friends to enjoy all that summer has to offer, it is important to revisit the basics of sun safety.
Here are four tips on how you can practice sun safety while enjoying the hot weather.
Stay in the Shade
The most effective way to avoid harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is to stay in the shade. Bringing umbrellas to the pool, tents to sports games and sitting under shady trees during picnics are all great ways to keep yourself out of the sun.
By keeping your skin out of direct contact with the sun, you are lowering your risk of long-term issues related to sun damage, such as skin cancer.
If shade is unavailable, it is important to wear sunscreen when in the sun. A sunscreen with a higher sun protective factor (SPF) will protect the skin from UV rays for longer, so try to select one with a SPF of 15 or higher.
Remember, sunscreen wears off – so keep yourself safe by reapplying often.
Do not use sunscreen on children under the age of six months. Instead, limit their time outside or cover them up with appropriate clothing.
Picking the Right Clothing
The type of clothing you wear outside can help with protection from UV rays and sunburn prevention.
Wearing tightly woven, dark and loose clothes will prevent UV rays from reaching the skin. Long sleeves and long pants will keep you protected the most, but t-shirts, shorts or swim cover-ups will also offer some defense against the sun.
Polarized sunglasses will protect both the eyes and the skin around the eyes from harmful UV rays. They are also helpful with cataract prevention, so make sure to keep a pair on while enjoying your summer sun.
Head, Shoulders, Knees and…Ears?
Sometimes the places on the body most vulnerable to sun damage are the ones we don’t remember. The high points of your body have delicate skin, so knees and shoulders always need sunscreen or clothing protection.
If you don’t have a lot of hair, wear a wide-brimmed hat or apply sunscreen to protect the scalp and the tips of the ears from sunburn.
You can learn more about staying safe in the sun by visiting the CDC’s website.