Playing it Safe in the Sun

Summer is right around the corner! For many, that means pool parties, beach trips and other exciting outdoor activities. As fun as summer can be, it’s important to bear in mind the harmful effects the sun can have. Here are some tips to help keep you safe while you’re out enjoying the outdoors.

1) Try the Shadow Test

According to the American Cancer Society, you can try the Shadow Test to find out how strong the rays are for that day. Stand in the sunlight and look at your shadow. If your shadow is shorter than you, then the rays are at their strongest. The sun will typically be strongest between the hours of 10am and 4pm, so limit your exposure during this period and be sure to protect yourself.

2) Use Sunscreen and Read the Labels

Sunburn is a quick way to ruin a summer vacation. Most of us have experienced this pain and frustration, so most of us also know how important using sunscreen is. When it comes to sunscreen, read the label! The label will tell you what the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) number is, which informs you as to how much protection you will have. Any protection from the sun is important, but it’s best to aim for SPF 30 or higher. While no sunscreen will protect you entirely, SPF 30 can protect you from 97% of the sun’s rays. In addition, the label will give you other important tips for application - like how long to stay out of the water after application and when to reapply.

3) Include Sunglasses in Your Wardrobe

UV rays from the sun can wreak havoc on your vision! Luckily, the correct sunglasses can help. Similar to sunscreen, some sunglasses are better than others. When choosing your shades, seek out the ones that are UV-blocking. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, too much exposure to UV light raises the risks of eye diseases - including cataracts and cancer - so this isn’t a tip you want to ignore.

Summer is all about sunshine and having fun, and with these tips, you’ll be ready to dive in! For more details, visit American Cancer Society or American Academy of Opthalmology.