Summer is in full swing, and you’re spending much time outside with your family and friends. Whether you’re swimming, hiking, camping, boating, playing sports, or participating in other fun activities, make sure your family, friends, and you are protected against skin cancer. Because the sun can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes, follow these simple guidelines every time you go outside.
Stay in the shade as much as possible to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Bring a beach umbrella or sit under a tree or protective shelter so you’re out of the sun. Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher even when you’re in the shade, as the sun’s rays are everywhere and can still harm you.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts to reduce your exposure to the sun’s rays. Tightly woven material is most protective. Keep your clothes dry, as wet clothes don’t offer as much protection. Also, darker colors appear to protect your skin more than lighter colors. In addition, always wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on exposed skin, such as your face, neck, ears and hands.
Wear a hat with a brim that goes all around your head and protects your face, ears, and the back of your neck from the sun. Canvas or another tightly woven material is best. Stay away from straw hats, as the sun’s rays easily come through the holes. Also, darker hats are more protective than lighter hats. If you wear a baseball cap, put sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher on your ears and the back of your neck, and stay in the shade as much as possible.
Wear sunglasses that block the sun’s UVA and UVB rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them. Wrap-around sunglasses are best, as they block the sun’s rays on the side of your head as well.
Always wear a thick layer of broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher when outside, even if it’s cloudy or you’re in the shade. The sun’s rays are always present and can damage your skin. Most sunscreens absorb, reflect, or scatter the sun’s rays that come into contact with your skin. This helps prevent sunburn as well as skin cancer. Ensure your sunscreen has not reached its expiration date. Also, combine sunscreen with other methods of protection, such as clothing and shade, to minimize your exposure to the sun. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after sweating, swimming, or toweling off so it remains effective.
You can have summer fun while protecting your loved ones and yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by following these simple steps. For additional ways you can help others, whether through monetary donations or volunteering your time, visit CHIX 4 a Cause at http://www.chix4acause.org.