By | Cancer Awareness.

Exposure to the sun can have many benefits including vitamin D intake and improvement in mental health. However, too much sun exposure can cause problems such as skin cancer, eye damage, sun burn, and immune system suppression. There are several things you can do to help prevent negative effects of sun exposure while also enjoying the fresh air and sunlight. 

Wear Sunscreen

Put sunscreen on about 15 minutes before your go outside. If you will be outside for a long period of time, be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. It is recommended that you use sunscreen that is at least SPF 15. Also remember to wear sunscreen even on cloudy days, as UV rays can be just as powerful and damaging then as on clear days.

Sunscreen will help you avoid getting a painful sun burn, which can lead to skin aging or cancer later on in life. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, and it is often preventable simply by protecting skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Stay in the shade

It is important to spend time outside, and while there are plenty of fun activities to do in the sun, look for opportunities to spend time in shaded areas.  Most parks have trees or covered seating and playground areas that allow for outdoor activities while protecting your skin.

Wear Protective Clothing

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your skin from the sun is to cover vulnerable areas with clothing.
  • Hats are a great way to protect the top of your head.  Using a billed hat or a sun hat can also protect your face, eyes, shoulders, and back.
  • Sunglasses protect part of your face and your eyes from unhealthy sun exposure.  This can also help prevent headaches caused by squinting your eyes when in the sun.
  • Sleeved shirts are important because your shoulders are one of the most likely places to get too much sun.
  • Shoes often aren’t worn at the beach or by the pool, but feet are usually very exposed to the sun. Remember to wear shoes that will cover your feet if you plan to be outside for a long period of time, and put sunscreen on your feet if you won’t have shoes on.

Stay Cool and Hydrated

Too much exposure to the sun can cause you to get overheated. If you are spending time outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and cool off indoors, under some shade, or in the water periodically.  

If you begin to feel fatigued, dizzy, nauseous, or confused, seek medical help immediately.  These are symptoms of dehydration, and if left untreated, they can lead to more serious problems such as heat stroke.

Summer days in the sun are often full of fun activities. Make sure you and your family are staying safe and protecting yourself from too much sun exposure.