Be Safe in the Sun

Sunlight is necessary for all life forms, especially as it helps provide vitamin D which has many health benefits. It might even help lower the risk of some cancers. Your skin makes vitamin D naturally when you are in the sun. How much vitamin D you make depends on many things, including how old you are, how dark your skin is, and how strong the sunlight is where you live.

However, it is also true that too much sunlight and exposure to UV rays can be harmful over the long term. Some of the measures according to QCS you should take to limit your exposure to extensive exposure to the sun’s harmful rays include:

  • Try to stay in the shade. This is particularly important between the hours of 10am and 4pm when UV light is the strongest. If you are unsure about the strength of the sun’s rays, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it is important to protect yourself.
  • Protect your skin with clothing. Clothes provide different Clothes provide different levels of UV protection, depending on many factors. Long-sleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts cover the most skin and are the most protective. Dark colors generally provide more protection than light colors. A tightly woven fabric protects better than loosely woven clothing. Dry fabric is generally more protective than wet fabric. Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
  • Use sunscreen often. While sunscreen is helpful in protecting your skin, it is important to know that sunscreen does not provide total protection against all UV rays. As such, you should not rely solely on sunscreen for sun protection. It is also important to read the labels of the sunscreen bottles and apply the sunscreen accordingly. When using an SPF 30 sunscreen and applying it thickly, you get the equivalent of 1 minute of UVB rays for each 30 minutes you spend in the sun. So, 1 hour in the sun wearing SPF 30 sunscreen is the same as spending 2 minutes totally unprotected. People often do not apply enough sunscreen, so the actual protection they get is less. It is important to note that the SPF number indicates protection against UVB rays only. Sunscreen products labeled “broad-spectrum” provide some protection against both UVA and UVB rays, but at this time there is no standard system for measuring protection from UVA rays. Products that contain avobenzone (Parsol 1789), ecamsule, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide can provide some protection from UVB and most UVA rays.
  • Wearing a hat. A hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around is ideal because it protects areas such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp. A dark, non-reflective underside to the brim can also help lower the amount of UV rays reaching the face from reflective surfaces such as water. A shade cap (which looks like a baseball cap with about 7 inches of fabric draping down the sides and back) also is good, and will provide more protection for the neck. A baseball cap protects the front and top of the head but not the neck or the ears, where skin cancers commonly develop. Straw hats are not as protective as hats made of tightly woven fabric.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection. UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves. Research has shown that long hours in the sun without protecting your eyes increase your chances of developing some eye diseases.The ideal sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of UVA and UVB.
  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. Tanning lamps give out UVA and usually UVB rays as well. Both UVA and UVB rays can cause long-term skin damage, and can contribute to skin cancer. Tanning bed use has been linked with an increased risk of melanoma, especially if it is started before the age of 30. Most skin doctors and health organizations recommend not using tanning beds and sun lamps.

Protection For Children

Children need special attention, since they tend to spend more time outdoors, can burn more easily, and may not be aware of the dangers. Parents and other caregivers should protect children from excess sun exposure by using the steps above. Older children need to be cautioned about sun exposure as they become more independent. It is important, particularly in parts of the world where it is sunnier, to cover your children as fully as is reasonable. You should develop the habit of using sunscreen on exposed skin for yourself and your children whenever you go outdoors and may be exposed to large amounts of sunlight. If you or your child burns easily, be extra careful to cover up, limit exposure, and apply sunscreen.

Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun using hats and protective clothing. Sunscreen may be used on small areas of exposed skin only if adequate clothing and shade are not available.

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