July 1, 2019 – Who doesn’t enjoy spending time outside in beautiful summer weather? It’s important to remember that the sun’s UV rays can damage the skin in as little as 15 minutes of exposure. Here are some ways to protect yourself from the sun and enjoy it at the same time:
- Find shade mid-day. An umbrella, tree or other types of shelter provide cover to help you avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when it is the most intense.
- Dress it up. Wear long sleeves, pants, and skirts made from tightly woven fabric to get the best protection from UV rays.
- A hat with a wide brim is best. The brim will shade the face, ears and back of the neck. A baseball hat will shade your face, but remember to protect your ears and the back of the neck with sunscreen. Hats made from tightly woven fabric such as canvas work best – avoid straw hats with holes that will allow sunlight through.
- Use sunscreen. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 before going outside, even on cloudy summer days. Remember, sunscreen wears off and should be reapplied if you are out in the sun for more than 2 hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Check the expiration date on the sunscreen bottle. Most sunscreens have a shelf life of about three years, which can be shortened if the bottle is exposed to high temperatures.
- Wear shades. Your eyes are also vulnerable to UV rays. Studies show that long term exposure to bright sunlight may increase the risk of cataracts and growths on the eye, including cancer. UV rays reflected off of sand and water can cause eyes to sunburn, potentially resulting in temporary blindness in just a few hours. Broad-brimmed hats and 100% UV blocking sunglasses are recommended.
Enjoy this summer weather – and be safe!
Sherry Stick is Fitness and Aquatics Coordinator
for Carroll Lutheran Village