How to Stay Safe in the Sun

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It’s important for us all to consider sun safety, especially living in Southwest Florida. It is even more important for the young and older generations to be concerned about this. As we age, our skin becomes less and less robust, thereby becoming fragile and in need of extra care. If you are older, you have probably noticed that small bumps into the table lead to bruises. Whereas somebody younger likely doesn’t see this effect.

If you plan to head out into the sun, please take these precautions to stay safe!

I know it’s hot out there by the beach, or out gardening, or going for a walk. But it’s important to ensure your clothing will protect your skin. Clothing is the best way to protect, as it can shield you from UV rays. Dry shirts are better than wet, darker colors are better than light. If you can, wear long sleeves and long pants, or a skirt, for maximum protection. If this is too much, wear a t-shirt or cover up.

If you plan to sit out at the beach, bring an umbrella, or seek a shady spot. The shade will not keep you completely protected, so you also need to have the proper clothes and sunscreen.

Now that you have your shady spot, and some protective clothes, it’s time to lather on the sunscreen. Your sunscreen should be at least SPF 15. Even if it is cloudy, those rays can still get through to your skin. If you plan to be outside a few hours, you will need to reapply the sunscreen for maximum effect. It may also be good to find a lip balm with at least SPF 15 to protect your lips as well. Don’t forget any part of your skin, like the tops of your feet, areas around the bathing suit, neck, ears.
EPA- Sunscreen Facts

Many of us can forget to protect our heads during a day out in the sun. And not many of us want to put sunscreen on our scalps, which can get in our hair. Hats are a great way to shield your head, and neck and provide shade to your face. Try not to get a straw hat, as the holes will allow the sun’s rays to get through.

You may think you can see just fine without them, but they’re important for protecting your eyes against UV rays. They also help reduce the risk of cataracts. Find sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.

Take the Sun Safety IQ quiz from the American Cancer Society to see how sun-safe you are.

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