Mentally, most of us are ready for the summer months and ready to wear shorts and flip flops. As we start to take our physical activities back outdoors, an important safety measure to keep us healthy is often overlooked—sun safety. More than 1.2 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the US and just one blistering sunburn can double a child’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.[i] Here are a few things to remember when heading outdoors to keep you safe from the sun.
- Apply sunscreen before heading outside and remember to apply it to your face, lips and ears too. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Kids should use at least 30 SPF. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA & UVB rays so that is preferable. Remember to reapply after swimming.
- Cover as much of your skin as possible to avoid exposure to the sun.
- Wear a hat to protect the scalp. A wide brimmed hat will also provide some protection for the face.
- Wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Choose lenses that block 100% of the ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- The sun is the most powerful between 10am & 3pm. Pay close attention to how much sun you are getting during these hours.
- Keep a bag with your sun protection products (sunscreen, face stick, sunglasses, hat) packed and in the car or beach bag. You will have it handy and ready to go whenever you need it and for unexpected outings.
The anticipation of the warmer weather may have you already starting to get back outdoors. Think sun safety. You can get burned by the sun in every season and even on cloudy days. Taking steps to protect your skin now can help to prevent problems in the future. Getting your exercise outdoors will feel great. As you take the time to keep yourself safe with the proper equipment, also take a few moments to protect yourself from the sun. Get outdoors, get moving, and with the proper protection, go have some fun in the sun!