Just because Summer is winding down and coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that you can stop worrying about sun safety! The sun is more dangerous than many of us realize, and can even do harm when we don’t feel the weather being hot. Because of this, we should take the necessary steps to stay safe when we are having fun.
How is the sun dangerous?
Though the sun gives us Vitamin D, it also emits harmful UV rays. These rays can increase the signs of aging with wrinkles and unevenness, burn your skin and cause painful immediate symptoms, or harm the eyes and worsen your vision over time.
The UV index is an index that standardizes how much UV is being emitted on a particular day. A low UV index of 1 or 2 is considered completely safe. A UV index of 3, 4, or 5, is considered moderate, where some damage may begin to occur. A UV index of 6 or 7 are high and 8, 9, or 10 are very high. If possible, you should avoid going outside on these days or take severe precautions. If the UV index is 11 or higher, this is considered extreme and should be avoided at all costs.
What should I do to stay safe?
The safest thing to do on days with a higher UV index is to avoid being in the sun, at all. However, we know that this is not always practical. It’s not always fully effective either, because you can still get burned through a window! If you are going outside, bringing a thin fabric to cover the skin can keep that skin from getting burned. A brimmed hat to provide shade can also keep you cooler on a hot day.
As well as this, you must remember the importance of sunblock. SPF 30 or higher is necessary to keep you safe. It is also important to choose your sunblock based on the conditions. Some sunblocks may not hold up to moisture or friction, so these are important to note when choosing your brand. You cannot just put on sunblock before a day in the sun and consider yourself safe, either. It is important to reapply sunblock as per package instructions, or every couple of hours.
Sunglasses are the last and most stylish step to staying safe in the sun. It may be surprising to hear, but many people, especially children, do not know about the dangers of the sun on their eyes. Some kids stare into the sun until they’re in pain, so make sure to have that conversation with your kids. Sunglasses can prevent UV rays from getting into your eyes, but not all sunglasses are built the same. When buying your sunglasses, look for the “Polarized” label to ensure that you are getting something of high quality that can protect you.