How to practice safe sun – 5 tips to prevent summer sunburn

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Sunburn can occur when someone is out in direct summer sun for as little as 15 minutes in an open area. Here are 5 tips to help you practice safe sun this summer.

1. Wear Protective Clothing

The most important tip other than limiting your sun exposure is to wear protective clothing to cover your skin, including hats, and long-sleeved shirts if at all possible. Even short-sleeved shirts will protect shoulders which often receive the brunt of the sun’s attention. Carry a pool coverup to the beach or pool so you don’t spend all day with your arms, legs, chest and shoulders exposed.

2. Use Sunscreen or Sunblock

Consider a good sunscreen or sunblock. Lotions are available that contain filters for UVA radiation as well as UVB. These sunscreens should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before exposure, followed by another application 15 to 30 minutes after exposure begins for maximum effect. However, it is very important to note that there is evidence which suggests that if the sunscreen filter is absorbed into the skin, it may increase the amount of free radicals, which in turn increases the risk for malignant melanoma. This is why protective clothing is considered the best form of skin protection other than avoiding outdoor activities.

3. Wear Sunglasses

Eyes are also sensitive to sun exposure, and sunglasses that block UV light should also be worn in the sun. Exposing the eyes to UV light may cause development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

4. Carry Portable Shade

Parasols, umbrellas, and other portable sun shields are available to carry or attach to your favorite lawn chair.

5. Plan Ahead

Plan ahead. Make a list of the sun protection you will need when you are spending time outside. Why not go ahead and pack your bag now with your sunglasses, a hat and suncscreen (if you choose to use sunscreen) before you forget as well as some drinking water for hydration. Set your portable shade next to your lawn chair and put them by the door ahead of time so you don’t forget them when you are packing your car for special events.

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