July is UV Safety Month
July seems like the most appropriate month for UV safety awareness. You have likely found yourself at the beach, park, or just your back yard, soaking up some sun rays. UV rays are usually stronger in the summer, so it is extra important to protect yourself from the harms that UV rays can cause.
Strong UV rays can put you at risk for:
- Skin damage: We all remember our parents constantly reminding us to apply sunscreen in the summertime, and for good reason. UV rays can cause sunburns on the skin, skin damage, and skin cancer.
- Eye damage: Eye damage can build up over the years. If we don’t protect our eyes from the sun when we are young, the may be a greater risk of sun-related eye problems later on like cataracts or eye cancer.
- Weakened immune system: Too much exposure to UV rays can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, which makes a person more vulnerable to germs.
Wear Sunscreen and protective clothing: The number one thing you can do to protect yourself from harmful UV rays is to protect your skin. Use a high SPF when applying sunscreen and reapply often. Some clothing is made specifically with UV protection. This can be even more effective in protecting the skin than sunscreen.
Work as a team: It’s easy to miss a spot while applying sunscreen. Have a friend or family member help you to make sure that you are fully protected. It is also a good idea for friends to keep an eye on each other while outside. Let your friend know if he’s looking sunburned and remind him to reapply sunscreen if needed.
Be mindful of staying cool: In order for your body to function properly, it needs proper hydration and the ability to stay cool. Drink plenty of water and bring a cool, wet towel with you outside. Doing these simple things can help prevent serious health conditions.
Keep an eye on your skin: Check your skin daily for anything that looks unusual or suspicious. Keep a special eye on moles and freckles. Sometimes, any changes you notice could be a sign of skin cancer. If you notice anything concerning, make an appointment with your doctor so that anything serious can be ruled out.
In the midst of summertime fun, skin safety can often go overlooked. However, it is important that you and your family take steps to prevent the harmful impacts of UV rays.