Long summer days. Beach volleyball. Family BBQs. Summer is in full swing and many of us are out enjoying the famous Southern California weather, hitting the beach and soaking up the sun. When you’re out and about, remember to protect yourself from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
UV rays are a type of radiation that comes from the sun and artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps. The sun’s UV rays can reach you year-round and on cloudy days, not only during the summer or on sunny days. Too much sun exposure can damage skin and eyes causing sunburn and cancer.
Here are some tips to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays. The more tips you use, the more protection you will have from the sun.
- Limit your time in the sun and avoid sun in the middle of the day from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
- Stay in the shade under shelter, an umbrella or tree.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and skirts. Clothes that are dry, of darker colors and made of tightly woven fabric may offer more protection than clothes that are wet or of lighter colors.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats that provide shade for your face, ears and back of your neck.
- Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays; the label will say UV400 rating or 100% UV protection. The darkness of the lens does not mean it has UV protection. Large, wraparound frames may provide more protection.
- Wear sunscreen that has a minimum of 15 SPF and blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply as directed. The FDA does not recommend sunscreen for babies who are 6 months old or younger. Instead, keep infants out of the sun and use protective clothing.
Sources and more information:
- American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Sun, UV Light and Your Eyes
- American Cancer Society, How Do I Protect Myself from Ultraviolet (UV) Rays?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sun Safety
- Food and Drug Administration, Tips to Stay Safe in the Sun: From Sunscreen to Sunglasses
- Food and Drug Administration, Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually