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6 Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun

An older adult taking proper precaution against the sun's ultraviolet rays while enjoying time outdoorsJuly is Ultraviolet Safety Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the risks of too much sun exposure. Protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays as you spend more time outdoors during the summer months. Follow these tips to stay safe from the sun’s damaging rays:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and skirts made from tightly woven fabric to provide protection against ultraviolet rays. Also, wide-brimmed hats will help to cover your face, ears and neck.
  • Apply broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that blocks UVA and UVB rays before spending time outdoors, even on cloudy days. Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours after spending time in the pool, sweating or toweling off. Sunscreen typically has a shelf life of approximately three years but should be replaced more frequently when exposed to high temperatures.
  • Shield your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays by wearing sunglasses. They reduce the risk of developing cataracts and provide protection for the delicate skin around the eyes. Choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Seek shade and limit direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Stay informed and up to date on local advisories and safety concerns regarding air quality, UV index, temperature and humidity by watching the local weather forecast. On days with poor air quality or excessive heat, limit the amount of time spent outside and schedule outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the evening.
  • Maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of fluids and take frequent rest breaks.

Following these tips will allow you to stay safe while participating in the fun activities you enjoy.