Summer Health Guide
By Leigh Felesky
Spending warm summer days out in the sun is fun for the whole family. But with skin cancer on the rise, you need to be smart about sun exposure. With a little know-how, it’s possible to protect your family from sun damage while still enjoying some rays. Here is what you can do to stay safe:
Reduce your exposure: The sun’s rays are the strongest between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to plan your directly in-the-sun activities before or after this time period.
Always use sunscreen: According to the American Cancer Society, 70 to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays shine through the clouds so cover up even on cloudy days. For kids, choose a waterproof sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Apply liberally and wait 20 minutes before heading outside. Re-apply every two hours or immediately after going swimming or sweating, especially if the sunscreen is not waterproof. Make sure your sunscreen isn’t expired; some dermatologists suggest getting a new bottle every year. Due to skin sensitivity, do not apply sunscreen to babies under one-year old. Instead, keep infants out of direct sunlight.
Wear protective clothing: The easiest way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up your arms and legs by wearing tightly woven fabrics that won’t let the sun through. If you’re going swimming, always bring a T-shirt so your child can cover up afterward.
Don’t forget your hat and shades: Protect your head and shade your face by wearing a hat with a four-inch brim. Also, protect your eyes from sun damage with sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of the UVA and UVB radiation.