You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Summer sun protection tips
Summer is here, which means families will spend more time outdoors. During these months the sun’s rays tend to be extremely strong, making proper sun protection essential. Exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays increases the risk of skin cancer, which can be dangerous and even deadly. About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers and 86 percent of melanomas are attributed to UV radiation exposure.
The Skin Cancer Foundation offers the following tips to help families practice a sun-safe summer:
At the Beach
•Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
•Cover up with clothing. Look for high-UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) swim shirts or rash guards, and choose bathing suits that cover more skin, like one-piece suits and long trunks. Out of the water, loose-fitting tunics and sarongs are good options.
•Take extra precautions. Water reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays, and sand, about 15 percent, adding to your overall exposure. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating, cover up with clothing, and bring a beach umbrella for kids to play under. The most effective beach umbrellas provide a minimum UPF of 30.
•Talk to teens about tanning. Teenagers may be tempted to “lay out” or visit tanning salons. But there is no such thing as a safe tan, because tanning itself is caused by DNA damage to the skin. Remind teens that tanning increases skin cancer risk, including melanoma. In fact, people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. In addition, tanning leads to premature skin aging, including wrinkles, leathery skin, and age spots.
At Summer Camp
•Remind kids to seek the shade. Tell kids to play in shaded areas in order to limit UV exposure. Check with counselors to see if there are adequate places for campers to seek shade during outdoor activities taking place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most intense.
•Dress kids in sun-protective clothing. For optimal protection from the sun, send kids to camp in long-sleeve shirts and pants. Look for tightly woven or knit, dark- or bright-colored fabrics, which offer the best protection. Don’t forget wide-brimmed hats and wraparound, UV-blocking sunglasses.
•Practice sunscreen application beforehand. Teach children to apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons, or about the size of a golf ball), of sunscreen to all exposed areas, 30 minutes before outdoor activities. Remind them to cover easily missed areas such as the back of ears and neck, and the tops of feet and hands. If camp rules allow, ask counselors to help children reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating.
Additional Skin Cancer Prevention Tips
•Avoid sunburn. At any age, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has ever had five or more sunburns.
•Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreen should be used on babies over the age of six months.
•Practice what you preach. Incorporate these tips into your own lifestyle. You’ll not only set a good example, but you’ll reduce your risk of skin cancer, sun damage, and skin aging.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
South Texas Living Archives
Austin’s oldest museum offers daily tours (June 22, 2016)
Dine out with The ROCK (June 22, 2016)
Esparza reunion planned for July 9 (June 22, 2016)
Free guided hikes at Enchanted Rock (June 22, 2016)
Getting your hands dirty — in the garden with Iris Seale (June 22, 2016)
Men: Pay attention to your health (June 22, 2016)
Movies in the Park (June 22, 2016)
New Pioneer Playroom offers hands-on learning (June 22, 2016)
Old newspaper makes memories ‘Local and Personal’ (June 22, 2016)
Poth church to celebrate 90 years (June 22, 2016)
See Legacy of Leadership exhibit in Washington (June 22, 2016)
SS museum plans meeting (June 22, 2016)
Tips for a safe trip to the beach (June 22, 2016)
Wall pocket (June 22, 2016)
Area seniors invited to Bingo Tuesdays (June 15, 2016)
Art Walk America contest deadline is June 23 (June 15, 2016)
Attend picnic at Dewees-Remschel House June 15 (June 15, 2016)
DRT receives honors at state convention (June 15, 2016)
Hear patriotic tunes in Pleasanton (June 15, 2016)
It’s gone! The Spot is gone! (June 15, 2016)
Join WASP for summer season (June 15, 2016)
Jubilee offers fun for the whole family (June 15, 2016)
Martinez Social Club keeps you dancing (June 15, 2016)
Meet 2016 Stockdale Watermelon Jubilee, rodeo court candidates (June 15, 2016)
Moms walking group invites members (June 15, 2016)
Napoli Glass (June 15, 2016)
Oak Hills Church plans yard sale (June 15, 2016)
Ramirezes celebrate golden anniversary (June 15, 2016)
See free movies at Arcadia (June 15, 2016)
Sutherland Springs seeks volunteers (June 15, 2016)
Vendors needed for Freedom Fest (June 15, 2016)
Witness Summer Solstice performance (June 15, 2016)
Add amphibians to your landscaping (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy free summer movies at Rolling Oaks Mall (June 8, 2016)
Enjoy Pilgrim Opry (June 8, 2016)
Gene Watson in Kerrville (June 8, 2016)
Hear ‘Bach to Luckenbach’ (June 8, 2016)
Hummel plate (June 8, 2016)
June dances in Geronimo (June 8, 2016)
Meet for Play Dates in the library (June 8, 2016)
OLPH names 2016 Mother of the Year, May Queen (June 8, 2016)
Prepare to enter cool creation in Ice Cream Freeze-off (June 8, 2016)
Remember Flag Day June 14 (June 8, 2016)
Running group plans June 11 run (June 8, 2016)
St. Ann Teen ACTS plan 5K Color Run (June 8, 2016)
Take Dad out to FatherFest June 19 (June 8, 2016)
The old Wagenfuehr house in Bleu Casa Village (June 8, 2016)
Tracking an icon in the ‘horned lizard capital of Texas’ (June 8, 2016)
Building communities (June 1, 2016)
Cowboy penknife (June 1, 2016)
Garcia receives Linda West Scholarship (June 1, 2016)
Garner State Park celebrates 75 years (June 1, 2016)
Libraries prepare to launch ‘Reading Is So Delicious!’ summer program (June 1, 2016)
Lutheran Church windows relocated for a little TLC (June 1, 2016)
St. Helena Men’s Club plans picnic (June 1, 2016)
Stockdale’s early beginnings (June 1, 2016)
The progression of the classic ‘koozie’ (June 1, 2016)