Stay Safe and Healthy With These Sun Safety Tips
Summer is in full effect and everyone is heading to the beach, pool, river, or lake to get some sun and a sunny dose of vitamin D. After spending all winter indoors, we all have a tendency to forget that the sun is stronger than it looks and will not hesitate to turn us into crispy-skinned lobster people. Here are some things to keep in mind when you head out to catch some rays or play in the water.
Avoid Getting Sunburn
I know many of you take the "one-and-done" approach to sun safety That wrongheaded idea that you burn once and then are somehow less likely to burn afterward. That's completely wrong. If anything it makes you more likely to get sunburn and it is increasing your risk of skin cancer later in life. Be smart and avoid overexposure to the sun. Take time to hang out in the shade. Wear appropriate clothing that covers your skin. Remember to wear sun screen (see a list of the best available sunscreens here), and make sure you use a sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium oxide, as these are the most effective in preventing sunburn and skin damage. Don't forget to reapply your sunscreen often and always wear your sunglasses (UV rays are particularly damaging to your eyes, so make sure your eyewear offers UV ray protection).
If you can, make an effort to plan your time in the sun around the sun itself. UV rays are most harmful around midday, so if you want to be outdoors, do it in the morning or later in the afternoon. Also be sure to bring sun necessities along with you, wherever you go. This includes portable sun shelter (tents, umbrellas, and the like), extra sunscreen, and plenty of water. We also recommend changing your schedule for working or exercising outdoors outdoors during peak sun hours as increased temperature, sun exposure, and potentially low air quality can be hazardous to your health -- particularly when doing physically demanding activities.
Look Out For Others
Not everyone looks out for their safety when it comes to the sun. Remind friends and seniors to take proper sun precautions. Make sure children are always wearing sunscreen, and that children under 6 months old are kept out of the sun. Children are particularly hard to care for as they aren't aware when they are getting burned or dehydrated. We recommend implementing periodic "shade time" to get them out of the sun, rehydrated, cooled off, and checked out for signs of overexposure to the sun. Last, but certainly not least, remember to NEVER leave animals in a car on a sunny day. Even if the windows are cracked, the heat is often very dangerous to animals.
Have a safe summer and enjoy the sun responsibly!