Published: July 11, 2023
Let the Sunshine In, but Not the Harmful UV Rays
July's strong sun is here, so protect yourself against damaging UV rays:
- Wear sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin, even on cloudy days. Reapply every two hours or more often if you're sweating or swimming. Water too reflects more UV rays, so be mindful of the additional heat.
- Seek shade: When the sun is strongest, usually between 10 am and 4 pm, try to stay in the shade as much as possible, which reduces direct exposure to UV rays.
- Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
- Wear protective clothing: Cover up with lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. Choose wide-brimmed hats to shade your face, neck, and ears.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. UV rays can dehydrate your body, so it's important to replenish fluids.
- Check the UV index: Higher values indicate stronger UV radiation, so take extra precautions.
- Medications can increase sensitivity: Your sensitivity to UV rays can be impacted with some medications you take so check with your doctor on how to appropriately protect your skin.
Parents can role model these sun safety practices and teach their children about the importance of sunscreen, shade, and protective clothing at an early age. While July is UV Safety Awareness Month, UV safety is important throughout the year. But by following these tips, you can reduce the risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.
For more information on UV awareness, visit the American Academy of Dermatology Association.