Thursday, April 5, 2012

Guest Post - Safety During Fun in the Sun

With the warm weather either here or on its way, most of us will be spending more and more time outdoors. My family is extremely, EXTREMELY pale, so sun safety is very important to us. I invited Adam, from the Sun Authority to tell us how to keep safe in the sunny weather.

Sun Safety 
When preparing for a camping trip, most of us have a list that includes basic necessities such as tents, sleeping bags, portable grill, food, and the list goes on. When creating a packing list, many forget to include appropriate items to protect yourself and the family from the sun. While some of us might have sunscreen on the list, that’s not always enough to protect you, especially when the UV Index is very high at a 10 or 11. It’s even more important to protect your kids, since their lighter skin is more likely to burn. You don’t want to start them down the wrong path to sun safety; after all, they have their whole lives ahead of them to be out in the sun!

At this point, you might be wondering what exactly the UV Index is. The National Weather Service reports the UV Index every day to inform the public on how strong the sun’s rays are that day. It is on a scale from 0-11, with 0 meaning you are not at risk of harm from the sun’s rays, and 11 meaning that you need to take extreme precautions to protect yourself. When outdoors for an extended period of time, you should take extra precautions if the UV Index is over a 6. For children, you should take extra precautions when the UV index is over a 3.It’s also important to remember that the UV Index can be very high on a cloudy day. Just because it is overcast doesn’t mean you won’t get a sunburn. 

If it is really hot out, you aren’t going to want to wear a long sleeved shirt and pants; you’ll risk overheating and will feel really uncomfortable. The first step to protecting yourself from the sun is to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. If you are going to be jumping into water or sweat a lot on a hike, you will want to re-apply often, per the bottle’s instructions. In addition to sunscreen, you should also consider wearing a wide brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from sunburn. A straw fedora will allow your head to breathe while providing an added layer of protection to the areas of your body closest to the sun! If your kids refuse to wear a wide brim hat, allow them to pick out their own baseball cap to at least protect their face.

In addition to protecting yourself from sunburn, it’s vitally important to protect your eyes. Many are unaware of the damage that UV rays can cause on your eyes, which can lead to vision problems in the short term and future. If you are going to be at a higher altitude, the rays will be even stronger, making it vitally important to protect your eyes. Many are also unaware that UV rays reflect off water and snow, making it extremely important to protect yourself from the sun when out for a swim or while skiing. Sunglass with polarized lenses that block 99-100% of UV rays will keep your eyes safe while providing crisper vision while outdoors in the sun. Even if you are just relaxing with a book by the beach, every time you look out on the water, the UV rays are reflecting back at your eyes. These reflected rays can be even stronger than the ones coming straight from the sun!

We hope these tips help you protect yourself and your family the next time you go camping. Do you have any sun safety tips that you and your family live by? Share them in the comments with us!

Bio: Adam enjoys providing families with all the information they will need to stay safe in the sun. 
Pin It

1 comment:

Thanks for leaving a comment! I will try my darnedest to reply to any and all comments. Please make sure they are family friendly. I welcome discussion, but please no rudeness.