Summer is right around the corner, and has started creeping up on us sooner than we all expected. In years, March weather has been cooler and a little more rainy, but this year, the weather has been strangely warmer and brighter. With weather like this, this early in the year, the summer months are expected to have hotter and dryer weather…yay! With these expectencies, more and more safety precautions will be published and flashed around the community. Summer’s arrival means it’s time for picnics, trips to the pool and beach—and a spike in the number of sunburns. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “The need for sun safety has become clear over the past 30 years, with studies showing that exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer. Harmful rays from the sun—and from sunlamps and tanning beds—may also cause eye problems, weaken your immune system, and give you unsightly skin spots, wrinkles, or “leathery skin.” No matter what our skin color, we’re all potentially susceptible to sunburn and the other detrimental effects of exposure to UV radiation. The old saying, “It’s better to be safe than sorry” truly comes into play in this situation. As young adults now, we should all do as much as we can to be safe and healthy, and stay away from anything that may harm or have harmful long term affects. The purpose of this article isn’t to scare anyone, or tell people to stay out of the sun at all times, but just to make everyone more aware and knowledgable about how to stay safe.
The first precaution advertised throughout the world is to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. Even on an overcast day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can get through the clouds. Yes, sun exposure is a necessary thing, (where we get out vitamin D), but too much of something can never be very good. The second precaution advertised is to wear clothes that protect all of your body. Cover as much of your body as possible if you plan to be outside on a sunny day. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, and long pants. Sun-protective clothing is now available almost anywhere you go. The third, and one of the most important safety tips given is to be serious about sunscreen. The higher the SPF, the safer and more protected you and your skin will be.
Being outside in the sun, enjoying the warm weather is definitely the best feeling in the summer. Please, do enjoy being outside, but please, for your sake, be safe! Apply sunscreen everytime you know that you will be in the sun, and make sure that if you go in the water, reapply sunscreen after because it may have come off. The safer you are today, the healthier you will be as you grow up!