Friday, June 27, 2014

10 Sunburn and Sun Protection Facts

Over here in Pennsylvania, summer is in full swing.  School has been out for a few weeks and the kids are enjoying camps, pools, beaches, lakes and running wild until the sun goes down.

If your kids aren't running wild until the sun goes down I beg you to limit the ipads, ipods, phones, tv shows and game consoles.  I promise they'll find something to do.  In fact, I bet they surprise you and find MANY things to do.

With how much time my kids spend outdoors, I wanted to share everything I've discovered thus far about sunburns, sunscreens and how to protect your little rugrats.  I'm ashamed to say I always either forget or skimp on that sunscreen early in the summer because I'm out of practice.  

We live in subzero temperatures for a solid three months in the northeast.  Sunscreen isn't a hot topic from late October until early June.  I've heard we all should wear SPF 15 every day but I'm so pale white in January I'll risk it and pray for some freckles when I walk to my mailbox in eleven layers of clothes.

But in June? It's time to get serious about the sunscreen.  

10 SunSmart Facts

1.  A person's risk of melanoma DOUBLES with five or more sunburns.  Scary stuff.

2.  Apply sunscreen every two hours when outdoors.  This is where I get very lazy.  I'm all about applying before the beach or pool.  It's the re-applying that catches us every time.

3.  Wear sunglasses.  The sun can seriously damage the eyes over time.  The lighter your skin and eyes the more susceptible you are to damage from UV rays.  

4.  Sunburns appear between three and five hours AFTER being in the sun.  Don't assume you or your kids can skimp on the sunscreen based on appearance.

5.  Ibuprofen can make you more sensitive to the sun.  

6.  Try a cool bath to relieve sunburn discomfort.  Cool compresses work as well.

7.  A white cotton shirt has an average SPF of 7, if it's wet the SPF sinks to around 3.  Darker and brighter colors absorb more UV Rays and provide more protection.

8.  You can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. 

9.  A high SPF doesn't equal more protection.  Once you climb past SPF 30, the smaller the difference in sun protection.  An SPF of 15 filters 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 filters out 97% and SPF 100 filters 99%.  The trick is to reapply and stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

10.  Suntanned skin isn't healthy.  It's sun damage.  I still prefer some color, but these days I'm settling with less.  

Happy summer everyone.  

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