Sun Safety Awareness During One of Our Hottest Summers
Summer is a great time for kids and adults to enjoy the warm weather and many fun outdoor activities. It is important to take a few precautions to protect yourself while in the sun.
Protect Your Skin
The sun can cause damage to the body through its ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which reaches us through UVA and UVB waves. Too much sun in the short term can cause uncomfortable sunburns. Additionally, long-term, unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays carries significant risks, including skin cancer, cataracts and a weakened immune system. Protect yourself from UV radiation by following these simple tips:
Limit your exposure
This is especially important when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
If you spend time in the sun, you should use sunscreen. Sunscreen forms a thin barrier that absorbs the UV radiation before it gets to the skin. Generously apply it to all exposed skin and reapply at least every two hours. Children younger than six months should be completely kept out of the sun. Be certain the sunscreen you purchase has the following:
- A “sun protection factor” (SPF) of 15 or higher. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection.
- Broad-spectrum protection which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- Water resistance, which will allow the product to stay on your skin longer, even if it gets wet.
Stay Safe in the Heat
Everyone is at risk of heat-related illnesses when temperatures rise above 90 degrees, and children and the elderly are at an even greater risk. There are several types of heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These conditions can lead to serious injury and even death. Be aware of the signs:
- Pale skin
- Heavy sweating
Protect yourself and those around you by following these heat safety tips:
- Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and a hat.
- Drink water: Keep water with you at all times and drink often. Don’t drink caffeine and alcohol because they dehydrate the body.
- Avoid strenuous activity: If you have to work outdoors, do it during the coolest part of the day, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
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