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12 Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy
This Summer

 
 
By Regine Harford

It’s summer — time for fun in the sun!

You want to grab your kids for a day at the lake. Or talk your friend into that long-overdue jog through the park. Or maybe peel your hubby off the couch or drag your wife out of the mall and enjoy a long hike together.

But then you remember how it all ended last year … ouch, that sunburn was bad! You picked up a poison ivy rash after visiting the wildlife preserve. And all those itchy mosquito bites still bothered you days after the family barbeque …

"No thanks!" you say, "I'm not going to do that again!"

But wait! You can have summer fun without the pain! Here are tips to keep you safe and happy:

Protect Against the Sun!
Did you rarely get a sunburn when you were younger, but now you get them more often? No, it’s not that you have changed. It’s because the ozone layer around the earth is getting thinner. It lets more of the harmful UV light through.

So, protecting yourself from the sun is more important than ever! And there is much you can do to enjoy some time in the sun without getting burned:

1. Stay in the Shade
Stay inside, or at least in the shade, during the middle of the day! That’s when UV rays are most harmful.

2. Use Sunscreens—All Year Long
UV rays are harmful in all seasons and all weather. At the beach, you burn with a nice cool breeze just as easily as in stifling heat.

The "How To’s" of Sunscreens
Buy
  • Buy sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
  • Make sure it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Pick the type that works best for you:
    Creams, gels, wipes, sprays, and sticks are available.
Apply
  • Put it on 30 minutes before going out in the sun.
  • Use it, even when it’s cool outside or cloudy.
  • Apply it generously—use more than you think you need!
Reapply
  • Take sunscreen with you wherever you go.
  • Put more sunscreen on throughout the day.
  • Reapply it right after getting wet or exercising.

3. Cover Up with Clothes, a Hat, and Sun Glasses
Pack a long-sleeved T-shirt, knee-long shorts, or a beach coverup … and actually wear these—at least for part of the time you spend in the sun.

Your head and neck are most vulnerable to cancer. So, sport that wide-brim, colorful hat with confidence! And, if the only hat you own is a baseball cap, make sure to smother your ears and neck with some additional sunscreen … just to be sure.

Sun glasses don’t just add style to your summer outfit; they protect your eyes. So, don’t forget to get a pair of cool UVA/UVB blocking shades, for you and the kids in your life.

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