The Sun. We need it for light, to grow our food, and any other number of reasons. And really, what’s better than a warm summer day sitting outside drinking lemonade? However, like everything, there’s always a point of too much of a good thing. Protecting yourself against the sun’s rays is a must. With skin cancer being so prevalent it is important to be aware of what is involved with sun safety. The following are the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) ABC’S of sun safety.
A – Stay AWAY from midday sun. This is the time of the day when the sun’s rays are at their most powerful. This occurs between the hours of 10am to 3pm. Although this is the time of day when many people are out and about, whether at work, running errands, or children playing outside, it is important to avoid exposure to these harsh rays.
B – BLOCK the sun’s rays by using sunscreen while outdoors. Sunscreen should have a SPF or Sun Protection Factor of at least 15. The higher the SPF the more protection you have against the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours and after activities where you are sweating and/or swimming. Children as young as 6 months of age should be wearing sunscreen.
C – COVER UP when out in the sun. You can do this in a variety of ways such as wearing clothes made with tightly woven fabric, wide brim hats (that cover both the neck and ears), and sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays. This is crucial especially if you work outside and are exposed to the sun.
S – Find some SHADE. If you are exposed to sun, especially for long periods of time, take a break in the shade. Also, keep infants under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight. Use an umbrella over the stroller.
By following the tips above you will increase your chances for a happy and healthy summer.
Author: Dana Brown, FCS Extension Educator, OSU Extension – Morrow County