Sun Safety for Everyone

Sun Safety for Everyone

July 20, 2023

Stay Sun-Safe with These Sun Safety Tips 

Summer is in full swing and with it comes the long-awaited sunshine. While the sun can provide many benefits, it can also be detrimental to our health if we do not take care to protect ourselves.  

Whether you're spending time outdoors on a sunny day, going for a walk or just sitting on the porch, protecting yourself from harmful rays should always be a top priority. In this blog post, we will share tips and tricks on how to keep safe in the sun. 

Facts and Stats About Skin Cancer  

Staying ahead of skin cancer means staying informed about its causes, risks, and outcomes. The Skin Cancer Foundation shares the following staggering facts and stats about skin cancer in the United States:  

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70. 
  • Every hour, more than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. 
  • Your risk for melanoma doubles after experiencing five or more sunburns. 
  • Early detection of melanoma leads to a 99% 5-year survival rate. 

Risks of Skin Cancer and Who is Most at Risk 

Although anyone can develop skin cancer, some people are more at risk than others. According to the American Cancer Society, those with fair skin, light hair, and blue or green eyes are more likely to get skin cancer, as are those with a personal or family history of skin cancer. Additionally, exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can greatly increase your risk. And while skin cancer can happen at any age, it's more common in people over the age of 50, says the Skin Cancer Foundation.  

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun 

We all want to make sure that we’re taking the best possible care of ourselves and our loved ones, especially when it comes to protecting ourselves from the dangers of spending too much time in the sun. Overexposure can lead to serious health risks such as dehydration, sunburns, heat exhaustion – even skin cancer – so it’s imperative for us to be aware of sun protection methods during outdoor activities. Here are some sun safety tips to bear in mind when spending time outside: 

  • Apply sunscreen regularly: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF of 30 or higher) that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. To ensure that sunscreen is evenly applied, use about an oz (a shot glass) worth of sunscreen or enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. 

  • Wear appropriate clothing: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that covers as much skin as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants. Consider sun protective clothing with UV blocking fabric. 

  • Seek shade: Stay under the shade as much as possible and always use an umbrella, tent, or other porous objects to provide shade. Again, avoid being in the midday sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when UV rays are the strongest. 

  • Wear a hat: Wearing a wide-brimmed hat is a great way to protect your face, ears, and neck from the sun. 

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water – being in the sun can be dehydrating. 

  • Don’t be fooled by cloudy weather: UV radiation can still damage your skin, even on a cloudy day. It is important always to apply sunscreen when going outside for an extended period. 

Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. and it affects millions of people every year. It is caused by damage to the skin cells caused by the sun's harmful UV rays. CDC research show that certain people carry risk factors that make them more susceptible to skin cancer. Whether you have risk factors for cancer or not, there are plenty of ways to protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin cancer: 

  • Monitor your medications: Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. If you are taking any prescription drugs, talk to your doctor, or pharmacist, about the potential side effects and how to protect your skin. 

  • Live a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and managing stress can all have a positive effect on your skin. By living a healthy lifestyle, you can give your skin the best chance of staying healthy and avoiding skin cancer. 

  • Avoid Tanning Beds: If you're looking to get a tan, skip the tanning bed and opt for a self-tanner instead. Tanning beds expose your skin to harmful UV rays, increasing your risk of skin cancer. 

  • Get Regular Skin Checks: Schedule regular appointments with a dermatologist to have your skin checked for any signs of skin cancer. Catching it early can greatly improve your chances of successful treatment. 

  • Protect. Protect. Protect: As mentioned above, some of the most proactive steps you can take to protect yourself from skin cancer is to seek the shade; avoid the sun’s UV rays when they are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm; wear sun protective clothing; and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  

Enlist Help from a Professional Care Team 

It's important to take extra precautions to protect your family from the risks associated with prolonged sun exposure. But we understand that sun safety can be a challenge, especially with those who have special needs or those who require additional care. That's where BrightStar Care comes in. Our team of qualified caregivers can provide child care services or special needs care to help keep your family healthy and safe this summer. Contact us today to learn more about how BrightStar Care can help!