With summer fast approaching, it means more and more people are at the mercy of the sun every time they step outside. Prolonged sun exposure can pose a hazard to your health and is also the number one risk factor for causing skin cancer. In hot and humid conditions, it takes more work for your body to maintain a normal body temperature. Needless to say, you need to be prepared for getting out in the summer sun without it affecting your health.
In this article, we have rounded up some useful suggestions that can help you and your family stay safe while enjoying the sun this summer.
Check the UV Index
Did you know UV radiation is responsible for over 95% of all skin cancers in Australia? That’s right. You may think there’s no UV radiation damage on a cloudy day, but that’s incorrect. The UV rays can penetrate the cloud cover and cause sunburn or melanoma under extreme exposure.
You can check the UV index to get an idea of the time you can spend in the sun. An index score between 0 and 4 gives you a few hours of exposure. An index score between 5 and 7 indicates an exposure of 30 minutes or less. However, if the UV index score is above 8, you should avoid any exposure as it can cause burning.
Use Sunscreen Regularly
Sunscreens help you combat harmful UV radiation and protect your skin from damage due to prolonged exposure. The Australian Cancer Council recommends using SPF30+ sunscreen to protect yourself from UV rays. Keep in mind, sunscreens need time to set before they become fully effective. It’s best to wait for 15 minutes after applying and before heading out into the sun. Whether it is overcast or sunny, it is recommended to apply sunscreen regularly. If you plan to enjoy a swimming session, remember to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours (roughly) as the water and towel drying can rub it off.
Wear Protective Clothing
When outside on a hot day, consider wearing clothing that is thick enough to block the sunlight. If you wear thinner fabrics, you won’t get enough protection since the direct sunlight can easily penetrate the layers. Long-sleeved, lightweight materials (for example, linen) in dark colours can be a good choice to step out in the sun. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can further aid in preventing any damage from the sun’s radiation. Kids are more prone to UV damage. If you have kids between 6 months and 10 years, ensure they are wearing the right clothing and have their eyes protected from the sun’s glare.
Take Steps to Prevent Drowning
Summer is when most of us prefer to lounge in our backyard swimming pools for a relaxing time. This is the period to be more cautious and monitor your kids when they are splashing in the pool. Consider installing four-sided fences around your pool for your child’s safety. Learn how to perform C.P.R. Summers are also a good time to enrol them for swimming lessons. You’ll be teaching them a life skill that can come to their aid in the future.
Drinking enough water is important all year round, more importantly, during the summers. The rate at which your body can get dehydrated is at its peak when the sun is hottest. If not acted upon fast, the ill effects of dehydration can be disastrous. Often, it becomes a challenge to make your kids drink enough fluids. A good idea can be frozen lollipops made by freezing juices to get them excited about hydration. What’s important is that it is fluid – this includes squashes and juices too. Having said that, let the sugary juices not completely replace water and other clear fluids for your child.
Look Out for Shade
While shade is no substitute for sunscreen, it helps to prevent damage from UV radiation by providing cover from direct sunlight. Heat strokes and heat exhaustion can be quite common with increased exposure to the sun on a day out. Young kids are especially vulnerable. Consider seeking out the shade wherever you are headed. It could be a bench under a tree in a park. If you are visiting the beach, take sun umbrellas and deck chairs along to protect yourself from the scorching sun rays.
Keep Sunburn Remedies Close By
No matter how careful we are, it is still possible to miss something. It’s best to prepare in case you end up with a sunburn. Stock yourself up with something soothing from your medicine cabinet that can reduce the skin damage and pain from a sunburn. Visit your local pharmacy and look for a range of natural remedies alongside sun creams that work well. Staying prepared for every scenario is how you can minimise likely skin damage before it gets extreme.
Avoid Tanning Beds
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV light is a carcinogen i.e. it causes cancer, whether it is from a tanning bed or the sun. It is one of the most harmful forms of radiation and is quite unhealthy. So, while you may be tempted to get tanned skin, no levels of skin tanning can be regarded as safe exposure. There is a myth surrounding tanning where people believe if there is no skin burn, there is no damage. However, long-term skin damage can occur even when there is no visible skin damage. Whether you have darker skin or a lighter one, you require adequate protection against UV radiation.
As the temperatures soar in Australia, you may be tempted to spend the day at a beach or your backyard oasis, installed by Fibreglass Pools Melbourne. However, it is best to stay protected against the harmful sun’s radiation to prevent any long-term skin damage. We hope the above tips and tricks can come in handy to stay safe in the sun this summer. Remember, you don’t have to cut down on the fun but only act smartly to make the best of the season by partaking in summer activities safely.