Facts and Hints for Safe Summer Fun

by Susanne Siebel

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During the summer months, staying protected from the sun is extremely important. Here are some tips for you to stay safe during the nice weather:

A little sun safety goes a long way...

1)      Sun rays contain UVA, UVB, and UVC rays that are harmful to the skin if exposed in an extended period of time.

2)      Being an originally fair-skinned person that is now tan means that your skin is trying to prevent new sun damage to your skin. Therefore, you are more at risk of developing skin cancer because your skin cells are dividing so much that it could get out of control. When the cells lose control, that is when cancer develops.

3)      The clouds do not stop the rays from hitting your skin. On cloudy days, make sure you protect yourself from UV ray exposure because you can still get burned.

4)       To stay protected during the day, apply sunscreen of 15 SPF (sun protective formula) or higher every two to three hours. Also, applying it thirty minutes before you go outside will enhance the sun’s blocking formula.

5)      An alternative to sun block is to wear clothing that covers the skin. To check if sun can penetrate the skin, put your hand under the cloth and if you cannot see your hand than you know that sun will not seep through the clothes and your skin will be protected.

6)      Wearing a hat will protect your scalp (a place where putting sunscreen is not advised) from burning.

Children's skin burns more easily

7)      If you become sunburned, some ways to treat it is to stay in the shade, take a cool bath, apply aloe vera gel, and moisturize the skin.

8)      The difference between sunscreen and sun block is that sun screen filters the UV rays that hit the skin and sun block actually blocks all of the UV rays. When buying these products, make sure you read the label carefully and buy the correct type of protection you want.

9)      Children’s skin burns much easier than adults, and they should therefore wear higher SPF’s and reapply lotion more frequently.

10)   The major manufacturers of sunscreen are Neutrogena, Coppertone, and Banana Boat. These different companies produce different SPF’s, different types of bottles (spray on or lotion) and water proof formulas.  Find one that works best for you and stick with it.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to wear sunglasses when you are out in the sun-it can prevent future wrinkles from squinting and will protect your eyes and future eye sight.  Enjoy the beach this sumer, and be safe!

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*Images from: http://www.kfb.org/safety/safetyimages/maknbacn.jpg  and http://z.about.com/d/pediatrics/1/0/g/N/baby_sunscreen.jpg

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