KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE!
UV PROTECTION FACTS
Summer is in full swing and the sun is shining bright so it’s a golden time to highlight July as UV Safety Awareness Month! We all love to take in those warm summer rays, but everyone must remember to protect their skin and eyes from the damaging effects of the sun. The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects against heat, sunlight, injury, and infection, but some of us don’t consider the necessity of protecting our skin.
Why We Need to Protect Our Skin
The need to protect your skin from the sun has become very clear over the years, supported by several studies linking overexposure to the sun with skin cancer. The harmful ultraviolet rays from both the sun and indoor tanning “sunlamps” can cause many other complications besides skin cancer. These include eye problems, a weakened immune system, age spots, wrinkles, and leathery skin.
When You Should Protect Your Skin
UV rays are their strongest from 10 am to 4 pm Seek shade during those times to ensure the least amount of harmful UV radiation exposure. When applying sunscreen be sure to reapply to all exposed skin at least 20 minutes before going outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Protect your Skin
There are simple, everyday steps you and your family can take to safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation from the sun.
- Wear proper clothing, wearing clothing that will protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is very important. Also, remember to protect your head and eyes with a hat and UV-resistant sunglasses.
- Avoid burning, sunburns significantly increase one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer. It is especially important that children be kept from sunburns as well.
- Find shade and try to stay out of the sun between the peak burning hours, which (10 a.m. and 4 p.m.) You can head for the shade, or make your own shade with protective clothing – including a broad-brimmed hat, for example.
- Use extra caution when near reflective surfaces, like water, snow, and sand Water, snow, sand, even the windows of a building can reflect the damaging rays of the sun.
- Use extra caution when at higher altitudes. You can actually experience more UV exposure at higher altitudes, because there is less atmosphere to absorb UV radiation.
- Generously apply broad-spectrum sunscreen all over exposed skin. The FDA recommends using sunscreens that are not only broad spectrum, but that also have a sun protection factor (SPF) value of at least 15 for protection. Re-apply broad-spectrum sunscreen throughout the day Even if a sunscreen is labeled as “water-resistant,” it must be reapplied throughout the day, especially after sweating or swimming. To be safe, apply sunscreen at a rate of one ounce every two hours.
UV rays can also penetrate the structures of your eyes and cause cell damage. Common sun-related vision problems include cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium (non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva that can obstruct vision).Wear wrap-around style sunglass with 99 or higher UV block Effective sunglasses should block glare, block 99 to 100% of UV rays, and have a wraparound shape to protect eyes from most angles.
Use the UV index
When planning your outdoor activities, you can decide how much sun protection you need by checking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) UV index at http://www2.epa.gov/sunwise/uv-index . A UV Index reading of 6 to 7 means high risk of harm from unprotected sun exposure. Protection against skin and eye damage is needed. If outdoors, seek shade and wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.