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How many hours have you spent in the sun already this summer? If you’re like the majority of the world, the answer is probably quite a few. When school is out and the days are longer, heading out to the beach or spending the day at the pool is commonplace. Unfortunately, however, spending too much time in the summer sun without protection can be extremely dangerous for you and your family. In fact, the United States records more than 5.4 million non-melanoma skin cancer cases each and every year. Over the last 30 years, skin cancer has plagued more people than all other cancers combined. On top of that, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point over the course of their lifetime. While these numbers can be very scary to read, it is important to remember that preventing sun damage is entirely possible with the right safety measures.
Ultraviolet rays, commonly called UV rays, are the rays of light that the sun gives off. Too much exposure to UV rays causes a sunburn, which can cause the skin cells to damage, die, or develop cancer. In addition, overexposure to UV rays has also been known to cause eye damage and premature wrinkles. While excessive UV ray exposure is dangerous for your health, small amounts of it are good actually for you. UV rays produce vitamin D which allows the body to absorb calcium and therefore maintain healthy bones. According to the American Cancer Society, doctors are uncertain of what the ideal level of vitamin D intake truly is, but research continues to be conducted to learn more. In the meantime, all doctors agree that without taking specific safety precautions, sun exposure can be particularly risky.
Be sure to keep in mind these 10 unique tips to protect your family from the summer sun:
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! The importance of adequate sunscreen use cannot be overstated. In fact, you and your family should be applying sunscreen throughout the year, not just during the summer months. But since the summer months typically call for more time spent outdoors and stronger sunlight, sunscreen is especially vital. Make sure to purchase a sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Also, ensure that you are using a sunscreen with “broad-spectrum” protection, this means you are being protected from both UVA and UVB rays (the chief causes of sunburns).
Reapply your sunscreen, especially when you are swimming or sweating. Despite what many bottles claim, no sunscreen is truly “waterproof”. Water resistant sunscreens often last for 40-80 minutes, so reapply sunscreen every 40-80 minutes if swimming or sweating or every 2 hours if you plan to stay dry.
Wear smart clothing. Pay attention to the outfits that you choose to wear this summer and try to wear light pants and long-sleeved shirts as much as possible. Also, make sure to wear hats often, this should be your most used accessory during the summer months.
Take cover! The sun is strongest between 10am and 2pm, so avoiding sunlight during these hours is recommended. The best case scenario would be to find a patio awning or deck awning designed to protect you from things like the sun, UV rays, and glare. The right patio cover will ensure that you skin is protected and that your body temperature stays comfortable.
Get out your shades! Wearing sunglasses, especially in the summer sun, is important to preventing eye injuries. UV rays have the potential to damage eye tissue, so go out and get a stylish pair of sunglasses with total UV protection to defend your eyes against the sun.
Check it out! Make sure to regularly visit your dermatologist for a full-body check of your skin. Look out for any growths or changes in shape, color, or size of your freckles and moles.
Smart cosmetics! Make sure to use cosmetic products with UV protection in them. Read the labels on things like lotions and makeup to be on the lookout for UV protection.
Healthy habits! Make sure to follow these tips regularly in order to create healthy summer habits for you and your family.
This summer, it is absolutely essential that you make a plan to protect your family from the sun. While certain areas around the globe have stronger sunlight than others, UV ray exposure is a threat to all. For those of you who plan to make beach outings a regular occurrence during the summer months, keep in mind that UV rays reflect off of surfaces such as water and that means an even bigger risk.
Are you looking to protect your family from the sun? Contact our sun shade experts in the USA or Canada toll free at 866-438-2964 or outside the USA or Canada at (305) 628-2424 or use the live help chat tool for more information on sun protection with a retractable patio and deck awning! Take the above tips to heart and have a wonderful summer!