Weatherford Democrat

June 28, 2014

EXTENSION NEWS: Sun safety tips

Weatherford Democrat


Summer is in full swing and many, with the 4th of July approaching, will be outdoors enjoying the lake, pool or just time with friends. With the exception of the past week or so, daily temperatures are getting warmer and soon that Texas heat will reach 100 degrees. Take precautions and keep from getting too much sun. The sun also has UV rays which can be harmful to the skin. 

Excessive exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun is the most preventable cause of all skin cancers. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute it is estimated that there will be 76,100 new cases in the United States as well as 9,710 deaths in 2014. Don’t let yourself or your family members be a part of these numbers. Learning a few things about skin safety can help you prevent it. 

There are different types of UV rays that come from the sun. Some sunscreens only protect from one type. Be sure to get a sunscreen that protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Just because it is cloudy outside doesn’t mean that the UV rays are blocked from reaching your skin. Light UVA rays can go through glass, so before taking off for a car ride, don’t forget to put some sunscreen on. UV rays can also do damage to your eyes so find a wide (3-inch) brim hat and some sunglasses to protect your face as well. 

Some tips on keeping the UV rays from harming you:

• Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun – it needs to soak in before being effective. Make it a morning routine and then you’ll never forget! 

• Apply sunscreen every two hours when in the sun – SPF 30 or higher and one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember the hat and sunglasses too!

• Fill a basket by the front door with sunglasses, hats and sunscreen- so as you rush out the door you remember take a bottle with you to reapply later as needed. 

• Make playing in the shade fun – During the peak hours of the day when the sun’s rays are at their highest point find some fun games to play.

• Use extra caution around water and sand – these surfaces reflect the UV rays which can increase your chances of getting a sun burn.