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Posts Tagged ‘sun safety’

marie fourth july

Fourth of July celebrations include fireworks, backyard barbecues, and maybe a trip to the beach. Whatever you have planned, enjoy the holiday and be safe.

Fireworks Safety – The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to enjoy a public display put on by professionals.  Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.  Many states outlaw fireworks.  If someone is setting off fireworks at home, they should follow these safety guidelines:

  • Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Be sure the person lighting fireworks always has eye protection on.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

Beach Safety – If visiting the ocean and swimming, be sure to know how to swim in the surf and only swim at a lifeguarded beach, within the designated swim area.

  • Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach
  • Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check if flags are posted for warning signs.
  • Swim sober and always with a friend.
  • Have young children and inexperience swimmers wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Protect your neck – don’t dive in head first. Walk carefully into open waters.

Rip Currents – Be aware of the dangers of rip currents and remember the following:

  • If someone is caught in the rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current.
  • Once free, they should turn and swim toward shore.
  • If they can’t swim to shore, they should float or tread water until free of the current and then head toward shore.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.

Grilling Safety – Every season people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills.  Follow these steps to cook safely.

  • Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent or enclosed areas.
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Make sure everyone, including pets stay away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that may catch fire.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Sun Safety – Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm.  Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with a protection of at least 15.

  • Reapply sunscreen often.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear sunglasses that will absorb 100% of UV sunlight to protect your eyes.

 

Written by: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD.  Family and Consumer and Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension,  Mahoning County

Reviewed by: Donna Green, BS, MA.  Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County

Sources: Redcross.org/news/article/safety tips

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Do you think windows will provide sun safety protection? Think again. Glass windows only effectively block Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, leaving you exposed to Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Car windshields are partially treated to filter out UVA rays, but side windows may be letting in 63% of the UVA rays.

Does it really make a difference? A recent study published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology discovered 53% of all skin cancers in the US occur on the left side (driver’s side) of the body. With early, non-invasive melanomas 76% were found to be on the left side.car windshield

Since, many of us drive our cars without applying sun screen or at least not doing it within the last two hours, how can we protect ourselves? Besides sunscreen you can have transparent window film applied to your car windows which will screen out almost 100% of the UVA and UVB rays without reducing visibility. It is available throughout the US. To ensure quality of window film, check to see if the product has The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

Sunroofs also increase your exposure to UVA rays. The study found over 82% of the skin cancers were on the person’s head or neck. If you have a sunroof keep it closed on sunny days or wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen. The second most common area for skin cancers were on the arm, so put on sunscreen and a long-sleeve shirt. Be sure and wear sun glasses too.

So if you are not safe from UVA rays in the car, what about your home or office windows? You guessed it. UVA rays are getting through. Another study found more signs of sun damage on the sides of people’s faces that were closer tapartment windowso a window. Home or office windows may allow at least 50% of the UVA rays to pass through. Wrinkles were one of the signs of sun damage seen along with rougher textured skin. The study found exposure to UVA rays accelerated the aging of the skin by five to seven years. This exposure increases your risk of skin cancer.

How do you protect yourself? Wear at least a 15 SPF sunscreen everyday year around. Install protective window film to the windows facing the sun of your office and home. Do you have shaded areas around your house for outdoor activities? If not install shade sails, awnings, or verandas with materials blocking out 94% as recommended. Trees and vine-covered pergolas can provide needed shade for outdoor activities as well as shade to windows in the house. Check out WebShade (www.webshade.com.au/) to do a shade audit for your property or to see how you can plan shade around your home.

Protect yourself from UVA and UVB rays by using sunscreen, installing protective window film, wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. Long-sleeve clothing will also help. Don’t forget to buckle up to stay safe.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD,LD, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA
References:

American Cancer Society, [2015]. What’s your sun safety IQ? Available at http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/quizzes/sun-safety/index
Greenwood, J. [2015]. Sun-safe homes. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/shade/sun-safe-homes

Skin Cancer Foundation, [2015]. Driving is linked to more skin cancers on the left side of the body. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/publications/sun-and-skin-news/summer-2010-27-2/driving-linked

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Did you know that the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes?  More than 1 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Skin cancer is  the most common form of cancer in the USA. This is unfortunate because skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer.

Youth are particularly at risk of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation since a large amount of the average person’s UV exposure occurs before the age of 18. Even one severe sunburn in childhood can double the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. As parents, you can give your children a legacy of sun safety by helping them develop good sun protections habits early in their lives.  Here are a few tips to help reduce sun damage this summer and throughout their life:

  • Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 before you and your family goes outside, even on slightly cloudy or cool days. Don’t forget to put a thick layer on all parts of exposed skin.
  • Look for some “fun “colors such as blue, pink, red, etc. They look like skin paint which may be fun for kids to wear, and also you can see your kids in a crowd of other children. Many of these varieties are available online.
  • Be sure to reapply more sun screen if your children are playing in water or sweating.
  • Remember, sunscreen works best when combined with other options to prevent UV damage.
  • Have children wear hats that have a brim to shade their eyes, sides of the faces and back of neck. Make sure they wear them when they are in the sun.
  • Also wear sunglasses to protect the eyes and the sensitive skin around them.
  • Have children wear shirts with sleeves, especially to cover the upper back and shoulders, where the sun hits most directly.
  • Limit outdoor play time during the 10am-4pm when ultraviolet rays are the most intense. When outdoors during midday, help children find shady spots to play.

Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Patrice Powers-Barker, MA, CFLE, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Lucas County,powers-barker.1@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm

http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/sunscreen.pdf

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/morewaysacshelpsyoustaywell/acs-skin-cancer-prevention-activities

 

 

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Girls Spraying Each Other While Washing Dog

We have officially started summer with the Memorial Day Weekend! The weather was beautiful in our part of Ohio and after weeks of cloudy, rainy cold weather, we were all ready to be outside and enjoy the warm sun. This is a good time to remind ourselves how to be safe while having fun in the sun!

We often think about the dangers from too much sun. Much is written about using sunscreen, limiting time out during the hottest part of the day, etc. We sometimes forget to also protect ourselves and our children from excessive heat.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has great advice for us:

  • Drink more fluids. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Keep a bottle of water close by at all times.
  • Don’t drink liquids with lots of sugar or alcohol – they can actually cause you to loose body fluid.
  • Some medications can cause dehydration, check with your doctor or pharmacist and follow advice about sun and heat exposure.
  • Infants, young children and the elderly are more sensitive to excessive heat and sun exposure. Be sure and limit their time spent outside on hot, sunny days.
  • If the heat is excessive, try to stay in an air-conditioned place. Electric fans can help but once the temperature reaches 90°, fans do not prevent heat-related illness.
  • Wear light weight, light colored clothing.
  • You might want to carry a water bottle mister or keep a wet washcloth in your cooler for instant relief from the heat!
  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning or evening hours if possible. Between 10 am and 4 pm the sun is its strongest.
  • Try to rest in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

The American Cancer Society provides a sun-safety quiz (http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/quizzes/app/sun-safety-quiz)

Take a few minutes to take their quiz and see how sun smart you are!

So, enjoy being outside in the sun and heat, but be smart…protect yourself and those in your care so that everyone has a happy, healthy summer!

 

Writer: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

Sources:

http://www.cancer.org/healthy/besafeinthesun/index

http://www.extension.org/pages/32345/playing-it-safe-in-the-summer-heat-sun

http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.asp

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Have you started wearing your shorts? Are you white legs showing? We are happy to have the warmer temperatures but having very pale legs can make some people feel self-conscious. We know we should not use tanning bedsSunless Tanner but how about the sunless tanning products?

Sunless tanning products are recommended by the American Academy of Dermatologists. But are they safe? The most common ingredient in sunless tanning lotions is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This is a color additive approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for external application on the skin. DHA has not been approved to be applied to areas near the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid these areas when applying. DHA comes from sugar and when it is rubbed on the skin it produces a golden brown color. The reaction is much like a peach turning brown when exposed to the air. The color usually fades in 7-10 days.

No clear evidence has appeared indicating DHA is harmful as long as it is applied externally as directed on the container. Self-tanning sprays carry some concerns to risk of inhalation and ingestion of which neither is recommended. If using spray tanning products you should wear protective gear for your eyes, nose and mouth protecting the mucous membranes.

Shopping for a sunless tanner
Look for products containing dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as an active ingredient. Most preparations contain 3-5 percent DHA. Avoid products that do not contain DHA as they may be a tan accelerator or contain skin irritants. Self tanning products are available in lotions, creams, sprays, and towels or wipes.

Applying sunless tanners
To achieve even coverage from your sunless tanner follow these steps:
1. Exfoliate. Using an exfoliating soap or rub will help remove dead skin cells, especially rub ankles, knees and elbows.
2. Make sure skin is dried off before you start to apply the sunless tanners.
3. Apply to your body in sections. Apply to your legs, then your arms and then torso. Apply in a circular motion to achieve uniform color. Lightly apply to areas from the ankles to the feet and wrists to the hands. You should not apply tanner on your soles of your feet or the palms of your hands. Wash and dry your hands after applying to each section of your body.
4. Dilute sunless tanner on joints. Your knees, ankles and elbows tend to absorb more tanning solution, so lightly rub these areas with a damp cloth or apply some moisturizing lotion.
5. Allow at least 10 minutes to dry before you get dressed. Wearing loose clothing and avoiding sweating for the next three hours will help you have better results.

The American Academy of Dermatology has a YouTube video on applying sunless tanners check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqpGvQwTaao

Sunless tanners do not protect you from Ultraviolet light, so apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least at 30, before you go out in the sun.

Author: Pat Brinkman, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Fairfield County, Heart of Ohio EERA

References:
American Academy of Dermatology, [2012]. Dermatologists give young adults something to tweet about: tanning is out, American Academy of Dermatology. Available at http://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/dermatologists-give-young-adults-something-to-tweet-about-tanning-s-out
Bank, D. [2014]. Ask the expert: Can sunless tanners cause cancer? Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/news/tanning/study-finds-sunless-tanning-deters-uv-tanning
Mayo Clinic Staff, [2013]. Sunless tanning is a practical alternative to sunbathing. Find out how sunless tanning products work, including possible risks and how to get the best results. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/sunless-tanning/art-20046803
Palm, M., [2014]. Ask the expert: Are self-tanners safe? Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/ask-the-experts/can-sunless-tanners-cause-cancer
Skin Cancer Foundation, [2014]. Study finds sunless tanning temporality deters UV tanning. Skin Cancer Foundation. Available at http://www.skincancer.org/news/tanning/study-finds-sunless-tanning-deters-uv-tanning

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Got your Sun Screen on?  Hopefully, you are enjoying the nicer, sunny weather and protecting yourself from skin cancer.  Although it may not seem to be very intense, the sun can be the same intensity as it is in late August or September.

Most weather reports now give the Sun Intensity value which is from 0-10+ with 5-6 moderate, 7-9 high and 10+ very high.  Anything above a 4 means we should be taking some precautions. This is a reminder that we need to protect ourselves so that we prevent skin cancer in the future.

Most of us get too much sun because we don’t take precautions.  That’s why we are seeing so much skin cancer.  Did you know that it is estimated that 90% of the new cases of skin cancer each year are preventable if we would just practice skin safety measures?

Follow these few simple practices to make a difference.

v  Wear sunscreen.  Sunscreen protects the skin from burning as quickly.  Select a waterproof or water resistant sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above.  Remember to apply it 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two to three hours or sooner if swimming or perspiring on a hot day.  Be sure to apply sunscreen on your children over the age of 6 months.  It is best to keep infants and young children out of the sun as much as possible.  Image

v  Also protect your lips with lip balm that contains sunscreen.   Some medications increase sun sensitivity so be careful if you are on medication.

v  If possible stay out of the sun between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM when the Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the highest. Remember that even on cloudy days you can get sunburn so protect yourself.  Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons as these also damage the skin.  Just four visits to the tanning salon a year increase your risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by 15% and melanoma by 11%.

v  Wear a broad brim hat.  A three-inch brim is recommended to provide the best protection.  Forget the baseball caps!  They do not provide protection for the ears and back of the neck.  A sun safe hat is dense enough to block UV rays from the sun.

v  Wear sunglasses that filter out the UV radiation.  They should provide 99 to 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.  Not all sunglasses do so check carefully.  UVA and UVB protection is clear and not determined by the color of the sunglasses.

v  Consider clothing choices.  Long sleeve shirts and pants provide additional protection but can be hot on warm days.  Looser styles and woven rather than knits are usually cooler to wear.  Light colors provide the least UV protection.  A wet white T-shirt is no protection against UV rays.  Darker colors provide a high UV protection but are hot to wear, so find a medium color, which will provide some protection with comfort.  Detergents with optical brighteners can increase the UV resistance of fabrics.  This can help provide some extra protection, but you still need to wear sunscreen.

Making some changes can help reduce your risk of skin cancer and damaged skin, which gives the wrinkled leathery look as you age.  You can enjoy the warmer, sunny weather and still protect yourself if you follow these precautions.

Writer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension Fayette County, Miami Valley EERA

Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith, Family Nutrition Program Specialist, Ohio State University Extension

Reference:

Brinkman, P.  (2007). Sun Exposure:  Precautions and Protection” Ohio State University Extension, available at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5550.html

Sun Protection Guidelines, available at http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines

Sunscreen FAQs available at http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens/sunscreen-faqs#.UXAZxcruyIA

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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.

BBLOCK 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.

CCOVER 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.

Source: www.aad.org

Author: Dana Brown, FCS Extension Educator, OSU Extension – Morrow County

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