Those gorgeous summer days are an invitation to go outside, but when preparing to go to the pool, lake, beach, zoo or whatever outdoor destination you may have in mind, don't forget to make plans to protect your skin.
All skin types need protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause skin cancer. You may purchase a UV indicator for extra guidance. Its color-coded readouts tell whether you should wear sunglasses, stay in the shade or stay indoors.
Grab the following items before going out of the door or plan to purchase them on your way:
■ Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher
■ A hat with a wide brim that will cover the face
■ A cover-up or a long-sleeve shirt that covers the arms
■ Sunglasses that have protection against UV rays
■ Lip balm with SPF 30
■ Inflatable float that offers shade above.
■ Shade tent.
It is of utmost importance to understand how to apply sunscreen and when to reapply during your adventure for the day. Read the sunscreen bottle directions. You should apply sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before you go outside. Reapply sunscreen every two hours. You may need to reapply sooner if you have been sweating, swimming or drying off with your towel.
Taking sun safety precautions now can help you avoid problems in the future. The time delay between heavy sun exposure/sunburn and melanoma — the most dangerous form of skin cancer — is more than 10 years.
You can practice sun safety year-round by staying away from tanning beds and avoiding direct sun exposure daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Babies 6 months and younger should always be kept from sun exposure.