Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer. For many, the summer sun activities will begin then. However, while we are enjoying our barbecues, bike rides and days at the beach, we have to take some precautions to protect ourselves from overexposure to the sun.
Overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Research has found a correlation between sunburns and the increased risk for melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and every hour, one American dies from skin cancer.
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) have partnered together to launch Don’t Fry Day.
Don’t Fry Day was developed to raise awareness about skin cancer and the harmful effects of the sun. One of the key messages about Don’t Fry Day is how to protect your skin from the sun’s powerful rays.
Don’t Fry Day is the Friday before Memorial Day, so this year, it will fall on May 27.
According to Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, "Many people still do not realize that unprotected sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other health problems."
McCarthy also said, "Simple steps such as using sunscreen, putting on sunglasses or wearing a hat can protect us and our families, while still enjoying the great outdoors."
Here are some reminders and precautions you can take to protect you and your loved loves from the sun:
• Slather on the water-resistant 30 SPF. Remember the proper amount to cover your body is approximately a shot glass full of sunscreen.
• Apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you begin your sun activities.
• Don’t forget your lips. Protect your lips with a SPF lip balm.
• Cover up. If you feel you have had too much sun put on a light wrap or shirt to cover your exposed areas.
• Shade. Shade. Shade. Bring an umbrella and seek shade to give your skin a break from the sun.
• Avoid falling asleep in the sun. If you need a nap, find some shade or relax under an umbrella or tent.
• If possible, limit your time when the sun’s rays are strongest which is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Take extra precautions when you are near the water. Remember to re-apply sunscreen every two hours.
Also, here are some pre-planning tips:
• Consider eating some tomato-based meals before you head to the beach. Recent research shows these meals can protect your the skin from the sun. Click here for the recent story:
• Store your sunscreen in the refrigerator and cooler. This allows for a refreshing cool sunscreen application.
• Make sure you have an extra hat and shirt in your beach bag for additional protection.
• Find out the daily UV index from the National Weather Service before you depart for your sun activities.
Reviewed May 25, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton