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Sun Safety: Protect yourself to enjoy the rays!

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Just about everyone looks forward to the sunshine of the summer, especially after this past winter. No matter how badly you want to just get out there and bake, remember that the sun has its hazards. The sun gives off radiation in ultraviolet rays. These rays can damage and age your skin, as well as give you skin cancer. Skin cancer is very serious, and can occur at any time of your life. Although some people are more susceptible to skin cancer, everyone is at risk.

When it comes to the sun, it is important to remember safety first. By following a couple simple steps, you can enjoy your time outside without putting yourself at risk.

-Always wear sunscreen. Make sure to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (covering both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 15 or higher. The SPF, or sun protection factor, does not tell how much more a sunscreen protects, but how much longer it does. The higher the SPF the longer its protection lasts. Also, be sure to apply lotion generously all over your body at least 20 minutes before going outside.

-Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Reapply after vigorous activity, swimming, or towel drying.

-When possible, wear full clothing protection. Make sure to wear loose fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants whenever possible outside. This will protect the majority of your skin from the sun. Also, wear a wide brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from exposure.

-Try to stay out of the sun when it’s at its strongest. The sun’s ray are the most dangerous between 10am and 4pm. Try to stay out of the sun, or follow strict sun protection provisions to keep yourself safe.

-Remember that even on cloudy days the sun is still shining. Make sure to wear protective clothing and sunscreen even on cloudy days. The UVA and UVB ray filter through the clouds to give you just as bad of a burn.

-Make sure to have shady options. Although you may want to spend the day in the sun, be sure to have a shade option for reprieve. If you are lounging outside, make sure there are trees or a market umbrella near by. At the beach, bring an umbrella.

-Base-tans don’t help. Many think that once you have a base-tan it will stop you from burning, and in essence, stop you from damaging your skin. This is a myth; you can still get badly burnt with a base-tan.

Long Island Safety Articles > Sun Safety: Protect yourself to enjoy the rays!

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