Summer is in full swing and that means days filled with swimming, grilling out, parades, and playing outside. I spend as much time as I can outside, soaking up the sunshine and warmth while it lasts. With all this time outside, we have to make sure we stay safe in the sun.
Our bodies need sun exposure, since it is our primary source of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium, making our bones stronger and healthier. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to harmful effects on our bodies. Protecting yourself from the sun is easy and will lead to a more enjoyable summer. A form of protection that many already use is sunscreen, although choosing the right sunscreen can be confusing. American Academy of Dermatology advises that all individuals use sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or greater, and is water-resistant.
To have an enjoyable, sunshine-filled summer follow these simple tips to protect your body from the sun:
- Be generous. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going in the sun, allowing your skin time to absorb the sunscreen. Once in the sun, continually apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours for optimal protection (maybe more often depending on the type of sunscreen used).
- Wear a hat and sunglasses. Sunglasses with UV protection in the lenses offer the greatest protection for your eyes.
- Seek the shade. Avoid being in direct sunlight for too long. You can still enjoy the summer weather while sitting in the shade. Stay in the shade during peak UV radiation hours of 10a.m. to 2p.m.
- Don’t forget. Make sure to cover your entire body with sunscreen. Don’t forget to cover your lips, scalp, nose, ears and toes. These body parts are often forgotten when applying sunscreen.
- Hydration. Keep hydrated while spending time in the sun, since your body loses water quickly while keeping your body cool.
- SPF protection. Buy lotion, makeup, and contacts with SPF protection. This is a quick and easy way to get additional sun protection that fits into your daily routine. Keep in mind that these products usually have small SPF protection, so they can not be used as a sun screen replacement.
Along with these tips and this sun protection information, you can protect your body and still have fun in the sun. Please share any sun protection tips you use below in the comments and let’s keep everyone safe in the sun this summer!