Sunscreen during all times of the year, is extremely important.
But given the fact that summer is here and many families tend to spend a lot more time outdoors, I thought I would take a few minutes to discuss the importance of sunscreen and protecting your family from those harmful rays.
Why? Recent studies are showing the effects of sun burns and their relation to skin cancer. They are now claiming that it takes just ONE blistering sunburn to DOUBLE your risk of developing melanoma later! You are also at a higher risk if you are a very light skin tone, have an excessive amount of moles,
How can you help you and your family?
(Note: I am not a doctor so please check with your family physician for more details, this is just a list of helpful ideas that could help to protect your family!)
Always bring a tent or canopy to any event that you will be stationed in one place for more than an hour or two. Many of these are now made with a UPF protection fabric. If you don’t have one, consider purchasing one or – see this Lightspeed Quick Canopy, shown above as an option for your family. We have one and love it! At the very least, stick to the shady spots if you can find one!
Use a high SPF sunscreen. We use SPF 50 or 70. Always do you own research, but consider a recent reading a recent Consumer Reports article that shows their choices for the top sunscreens of 2013.
Re-apply often, especially when you are doing a physical, sweaty activity or if you are at the beach or pool where sunscreen is washed off from the water or toweled off.
Don’t forget the eyes! Eyes burn just the same as any other part of the body and need to be protected equally. Look for a pair that offers UVA and UVB protection. If you wear glasses, be sure to spring for a prescription pair.
Wear a wide-brim hat whenever you are outdoors. You or your kids might feel goofy, but your health is far more important. And these days there are far more stylish options available, so there is no excuse here!
Check out the UV Index for your area before planning a trip outdoors for the day. There are even cell phone apps that assist you with this now. Usually the worst hours are between 10am and 4pm, so try your best to avoid sun exposure during those times.
When hiking outdoors, or even playing in the waves, opt for long sleeves for your family. Rash guards can help save a burn, but don’t let it take the place of sunscreen. While the idea of long sleeves may seem just too hot, a light weight button-up could really save your life!
Buy chapstick with SPF. If you don’t have any, sunscreen will work just the same. It doesn’t taste good, but your lips are actually softer skin and may burn faster than any other part of your body. If you tend to lick your lips a lot, be sure you re-apply often!
Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements. Studies show that many people may be vitamin D deficient and a boost may help to protect against skin cancer.
Be sure your family gets yearly physicals with a skin check, especially if skin or other cancers run in the family, if you have lots of moles or are fair-skinned.
For more information on ways to protect your family from the suns harmful rays, be sure to visit image source SkinCancer.org.