As our days become sunnier, we are reminded of the importance of sun safety. Too much sun may cause uncomfortable sunburns that damage the skin and may lead to skin cancer later in life. To protect yourself and your loved ones:
Slip on sun protective clothing. Sun protective clothing with high UPF ratings offers great protection, though caution is urged if clothing becomes worn, too tight or wet as those diminish the effectiveness of the clothing.
Slop on sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreen and lip balm of SPF 30 or higher reapplied regularly, especially after swimming and sweating, is an integral part of sun protection.
Slap on wide-brimmed or legionnaire style hats and UV protective sunglasses.
Seek shade. Limit sun exposure between 11 am and 3 pm, especially between 12 pm and 2 pm for children when the sun’s radiation is the strongest. Remember that even on cloudy days the sun’s radiation can still penetrate the cloud cover. Create your own sun-safe environment with shade trees, umbrellas and awnings especially when the sun is directly overhead.
Check the UV index and take the recommended sun protective actions. Seniors and babies younger than one year old require extra protection. Seniors face an increased risk of skin cancer and many medications prescribed or taken by seniors may cause oversensitivity to the sun.
Babies do not have a developed skin protection system and have more sensitive skin. Sunburns occur more easily, cause serious pain and damage your skin. They can also lead to dehydration and fever that require medical attention. Babies should be kept out of direct sunlight under shade or canopies. Limit the length of sun exposure especially around noon. Babies should wear wide-brimmed hats and loose-fitting clothing that covers the arms and legs and use sunscreen as recommended. Remember: slip, slop, slap and seek!