Sun Protection: More Than Just SPF

|   July 10, 2017   |   Cancer, Parenthood

Sun Protection: More Than Just SPF

It’s summertime, which means many people are packing up their pool and beach bags and planning to spend a lot of time outside. Sunscreen usually tops most people’s lists for beach necessities, but the most important part of sun safety doesn’t boil down to only SPF. In fact, the CDC recommends a host of other things that you should do in order to protect your children and yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. 

What Should I Do To Avoid The Sun?

Most kids love spending time outside, whether it’s in the yard, at the park, at a pool, or beach. It’s important to either plan indoor activities during the middle of the day when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest, or if you do want to spend time outside during that period, try to find a place with a lot of shade. In addition to staying in the shade, do your best to cover yourself and your kids as well. Try to dress in long sleeves when possible, add a hat to protect the face, scalp, and ears, and wear sunglasses to protect the eyes. Finally, make sure you add sunscreen to your family’s daily routine and not just when you’re at the pool or beach. The CDC recommends at least a SPF 15 sunscreen every time your kids go outside. It’s most effective if it’s applied at least 30 minutes before going outside, as well as being reapplied throughout the day, especially after exercise or swimming. It’s crucial that you use all of the above methods to help protect against the sun and its harmful effects and not rely solely on sunscreen.

What Are The Effects Of Too Much Sun?

Although time in the sun can do some good, there are a multitude of negative effects from spending too much time in it. Too much sun exposure even at an early age can lead to immediate issues like heat stroke or exhaustion, heat rash, sunburn, and prematurely aging skin. In the long run, it also increases your chance of melanoma, skin cancer, or cataracts in the eyes. 

So if you’re looking for the best way to protect your family from sun exposure, don’t stop your search at the sunscreen aisle. Make sure you stock up on all of the other essentials like proper clothing, sunglasses, and a hat. 


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