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Health News :: Summer Sun Safety
Warmer weather finds many of us spending time outdoors, increasing our exposure to damaging sun rays. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage skin in less than 15 minutes. Benton County Public Health officials are recommending several steps to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.Seek shade, especially during the midday hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest. When possible, plan indoor activities during this time. Clothing that covers the skin helps to protect against UV rays. Consider clothing which has a UV protection added or use a laundry additive such as Rit Sun Guard which provides UV protection in clothing up to 20 washes. Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and UVA and UVB protection every time you or your child goes outside. For the best protection apply one ounce of sunscreen to skin 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every two hours or more often if swimming. Wear a hat that has a brim large enough to provide shade to the face, scalp, ears and neck. Be sure these areas are also covered with sunscreen. Sunglasses will protect eyes from damaging rays. Look for sunglasses that provide both UVA and UVB protection and fit close to the face. Exposure to UV rays can lead to cataract development later in life. Damaging UV rays can reach you even on cool and cloudy days. Apply sunscreen as you would on sunny days.
Protecting children from sun damage includes keeping newborns out of the sun. A child’s risk of developing skin cancer later in life increases with just a few serious sunburns. Always read and follow the package directions for using sunscreen products.
Nancy Farmer, RN, BSN,
Director Benton County Public Health