The sun is warm and inviting and with the arrival of summer, everyone spends more time outdoor. But repeated unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage, eye damage and skin cancer. Everyone is susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of UV rays irrespective of skin colour. The following sun safety tips can help protect you and your family from the harmful rays of sun.
sun safety tips
- Limit your sun exposure between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when UV rays are strongest.
- Wear sunscreen every day, in all weather and in every season. It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and should have broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 30 minutes before going outside. Use 1 ounce, which would fill a shot glass.
- Sunscreen have to be reapplied every 2 hours to maintain protection. It should also be reapplied after swimming, sweating or when it’s wiped out.
- Wear sunglasses with at least 99% UV protection.
- Wear a hat or cap with a brim that faces forward to shield the face.
- Wear clothing that covers your skin as much as possible. Dark coloured cloth offers better protection than light cloth. Go for tightly woven fabrics.
- Avoid the use of tanning beds and sun lamps. They give out UVA and UVB too. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damages and can increase the risk of skin cancer.
- Apply sunscreen even on cloudy and hazy day. UV rays can still penetrate the atmosphere and cause sunburn.
- Parents should protect their children from excessive sun exposure. Babies under six month should be protected from direct sunlight. Children over six months should use sunscreen formulated for children.
Even if you always avoid the sun, cover yourself in sunscreen and wear protective clothing, you still need to watch for any changes on your skin that could indicate trouble. When skin cancer is caught early, the chances of recovery are often improved. Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in your skin such as a new growth or a sore that doesn’t heal. Sun protection should be practiced all year round.