This Summer, Don't Forget About Sun Safety!

Posted on June 2, 2017 12:24 pm CDT

It's summertime which also means increased sun exposure for most of us. Even though everyone loves a sunny day, don't forget that the sun can also do a lot of damage to our bodies. Making yourself aware of sun safety and educating yourself on a few sun safety tips can make all of the difference this summer and for years to come. 


Remember that insect repellants usually reduce suncreen effectiveness by up to 33%. When using both products, make sure you reapply sunscreen routinely and also use a highter SPF (Sun Protection Factor) sunscreen. 


An overexposure to the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburn which is known to increase your risk for skin cancer. Before going outdoors for activities, check your local UV Index, which is updated each day by the EPA and National Weather Service. This index will notify you of the days when the UV forecast is high. This will allow you to plan your outdoor activities in a way where you can prevent overexposure to the sun and its harmful rays. Whenever possible, seek the shade. UVA and UVB rays are the strongest between 10am and 4 pm daily. 


Most people forget that sunburns can happen year round, not just during the summer months. Water, snow and sand help reflect the sun's rays, which can increase the chance of a sunburn. Wear an SPF sunscreen of at least 15 year round when going outside, but especially greater when planning to be out in the sun's rays for an extended period of time. Wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and sunscreen to help protect your skin and eyes from the harmful rays. Make sure the sunglasses you choose to wear aren't just shaded darkly, a neat color or whatever is trendy or hip... the ability to block the UV lights to your eyes is not determined by any of those things. Make sure you choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays or absorbing up to 400 nm of UV light.


Making yourself sun aware and taking a few minor steps to be safe in the sun yearround will help you and your body out in the long run. Have fun this summer and stay sun-safe! 

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