Playin’ it safe in the sun.
Nearly five million people are treated for skin cancer each year in the United States. Skin cancer can be serious and sometimes even deadly. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be prevented. When you and your family are outdoors, take steps to protect yourselves from skin cancer. Damage from exposure to UV rays builds over time, so sun protection should start at an early age.
Sun Safety Tips
Seek shade. Especially between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm. Umbrellas, trees, or shelters can provide relief from the sun.
Reflections beware. Be extra careful around surfaces that reflect the sun’s rays, like sand, water and concrete.
Wear sun protection gear. When you go out, wear a hat with a wide brim. For extra protection, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. If that’s not practical, wear a T-shirt or beach cover-up.
Wear sunglasses. More than a fashion statement, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts and other eye problems. For the best protection, choose a pair that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
Be generous with the sunscreen. Apply a thick layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher at least 15 minutes before going outdoors – even on cloudy or overcast days. Reapply at least every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
When are UVA rays the strongest?
- From late morning to early afternoon
- In the summer months
- At high altitudes
- Near the equator
Remember, sunburn and skin damage can occur even on cloudy or overcast days. If you’re unsure about the sun’s intensity, check your local UV Index.