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Top 5 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Top 5 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

It can be easy to forget about sun protection. In fact, about 30 percent of adults don’t exercise sun protection, according to the National Cancer Institute. 

Sun safety practices are critical during the summer as people spend more time outside in swimming pools and parks.

Protect yourself from dangerous sunburn, the root cause of skin cancer. There are things you can do to practice sun safety, including wearing sunscreen, covering your skin, and staying in the shade. Following these simple tips can help protect yourself and your family. 

1. Wear Sunscreen

Be sure to wear sunscreen that’s SPF 15 or higher. Apply it liberally throughout your body, and make sure you get to those hard-to-reach places like your back! If you are swimming or sweating, keep reapplying with sunscreen as it will wear off during your time in the sun. Also, sunscreen does expire, so be sure to check the expiration date.

2. Cover Your Skin

Protective clothing is a great way to reduce your sun exposure as you practice sun safety. It is especially important to wear clothing on your body that gets a lot of sun exposure, including your head. Some protective clothing comes with built-in SPF, which means you get an added layer of protection from sun exposure. 

3. Stay in the Shade

Choosing shade over the sun helps you reduce your time from the sun’s harmful rays. Consider finding a spot under a porch or an umbrella. Canopies and tents also help.

4. Avoid Peak Sunshine

Direct sunlight is the worst for your skin, so do your best to avoid the hottest and strongest rays of the sun. The sun’s rays are most powerful between 11 AM and 3 PM, so limit your time under the sun during these hours. The shadow rule will help: check if your shadow is shorter than you. If it is, then the sun’s rays are very intense, and that is your reminder to seek shade.

5. Avoid Tanning Beds

Keep in mind that skin cancer is a slow-growing form of cancer, which means exposure happens over a longer period of time. Indoor tanning beds cause an increased probability of skin cancer. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are worse when artificial ultraviolet rays come into contact with your skin. According to many studies, melanoma cases are increasing in young people because of the use of tanning beds.  

Practice Safety in the Sun

Remember, doing these sun safety practices reduces your risk of sunburn and skin cancer but doesn’t eliminate it completely. It’s best if you stay in the shade whenever possible. Clouds don’t completely block all of the sun’s UV rays, so it’s best if you still apply sunscreen on cloudy days. 

Following these few simple steps can keep you safe in the sunshine and protect your overall long-term health.  If you feel unwell after spending too much time in the sun, know that your local emergency room in San Antonio, TX is open 24/7 for your family.

Sources:

“Sun Safety” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

“Indoor Tanning: The Risks of Ultraviolet Rays” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/indoor-tanning-risks-ultraviolet-rays