The long, picturesque days of summer are starting to call us to adventure outdoors this time of year. The improvement in the weather often leads to an increase in sun exposure and is a good time to remember some sun protection tips.
1. Remember This is UV Season
The sun’s rays are most intense between 10 am and 3 pm and the strength of UV radiation varies with the time of year. While it is recommended that sun safety in Colorado should be a year-round concern, UV season spans from March 1 to October 31. This is the time span during which the UV index routinely reaches or exceeds moderate levels.
You can confirm the relevant dates for your area by checking the annual UV index record from the National Weather Service by clicking here http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/uv_index/uv_annual.shtml.
2. Protect Your Skin from UV Damage
UV damage leads to sunburns, premature skin aging and eventual skin cancers. Apply a “broad spectrum” sunblock, such as the DermaSpaRx Sun Protection Systems, with an SPF of at least 30, fifteen minutes before heading outdoors. Generously cover all exposed areas and re-apply every two hours. The most effective sun blocks contain either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide- the only two ingredients that provide both UVA and UVB protection and are gentle enough for everyday use.
3. Don’t Forget Your Head!
It is easy to forget to shade your head when going out into the sun and this can be dangerous. Skin cancer can form on your scalp where it is often difficult to apply sunscreen. Wearing a UV protective, broad brimmed hat and sunglasses will help protect your scalp as well as your eyes. An added benefit- Sunglasses will help keep you from squinting and increasing wrinkles around your eyes.
4. Take A Sun Care Supplement
Heliocare is a dietary supplement that helps maintain your skin’s ability to protect itself against sun-related effects and aging year round. The benefits begin the first time you take it, naturally promoting more youthful and resilient skin every day.
5. Sun Safety for School Age Children
Start young, because sun damage and skin cancer are preventable! It is important for all children to practice sun safety, but of special importance is school age children as they often begin making decisions on their own. Simply changing a child’s behavior and attitude about playing outside makes a world of difference. The vast majority of skin cancer is caused by over-exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, particularly during childhood. Sun damage accumulates throughout your life- your skin never forgets a sun burn. Help children learn how to stay safe in the sun by teaching them why they need to protect themselves.
Sun exposure in the first fifteen years is linked to the increased likelihood of skin cancer, including melanoma, as an adult. Children may not be aware of the sun’s UV rays or be able to protect themselves from the sun without reminders from the adults in their lives.
Remind your children to follow the “Slip, Slop, Slap, Sleek and Slide” method created by the SunSmart Cancer Council NSW. When the UV Index is 3 or above, you should protect yourself in five ways:
- Slip on clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Slop on 30+, broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm
- Slap on a broad-brimmed hat
- Seek shade (see more below about how schools can provide shaded areas for school children)
- Slide on wrap-around sunglasses
Does your child’s school or neighborhood playground have a shade structure? The American Academy of Dermatology offers a grant program for shade structures!
Learn more by clicking here http://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer/what-we-do/shade-structure-grant-program
The Skin Cancer Foundation also has a program that allows you to give the gift of shade by planting a shade tree.
“Give the gift of a hardwood tree and share sun protection for a lifetime.”
For a contribution of $500, you or whomever you designate will receive a Shade Tree (approximately 2-3 feet in height) for planting.