With the rise in skin cancers and more than 3 million Americans developing it yearly, protecting your skin and eyes from the sun has become more important than when I was a child. I remember the days of using a mixture of baby oil and iodine to attract more sun rays to my skin. I’ve earned the right to develop melanoma from my overexposure days of lifeguarding and sunbathing. I’m fortunate, however, I’ve not had a skin cancer yet. Anybody with me? Today, one must have a plan that includes using safe sunscreen as well as other forms of protection from the sun. We must have tips for safe fun in the summer time.
Safe sunscreens are not the only way to protect your skin from UV radiation rays. The best defense is a combination of sunscreen, clothing and hats, timing and shade. Tightly woven clothing with dark colors is a great way to protect your skin and is the newest trend in bathing suits for children. Yes, it’s time to cover-up. I mean use a real cover-up garment to shield yourself and loved ones from the sun. Wide brim or safari hats that cover the back of your neck and face are also helpful tools.
Large beach umbrellas are a must for a day on the beach. Pools are beginning to add partly shaded coverings so people can swim without the sun beating down on them. It’s good common sense to avoid the hot sun during midday from 12 – 4 pm. And of course, a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 15 SPF should be applied every few hours according to instructions.
This is exactly what my father did after he was diagnosed with melanoma. You could see him floating in the beach inlet late afternoons with his hat, long sleeve top and long bathing trunks. Although melanoma can be found on parts of the body which are not exposed to the sun, my father never had another incident. He learned the basics of shading, shielding with clothing and hats, avoiding the midday sun, and using sunscreen. These tips enabled him to have safe fun in the summer time.
And don’t forget your eyes! Sunglasses with UV protection are a must even for children. Wearing sunglasses protect your eyes against UVA and UVB rays. Sun rays can damage your eyes and contribute to vision loss and cataracts as you age. Ask me, the gal who never wore sunglasses until about ten years ago. This same gal who used to have perfect vision and is currently moving towards cataracts and vision loss.
What tips can you share for protecting your family while enjoying your fun in the sun? Next time, we’ll look at what makes a safe sunscreen and which ones do the job without allowing toxic chemicals to build in your bloodstream.
For Your Health,