The ABCs of Preventing Sunburn

It’s sunburn season again.
Is it already time to think about getting sunburned? Yes it is. Even now, you or your kids can get too much of a good thing. So let’s get back to the basics- the ABCs of keeping our skin safe!

A – Away
Stay away from the bright rays of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm.
Why? because that’s the time when UV rays (ultra violet rays) are at their peak. What are ultra violet rays? They are one type of the many invisible rays that come from the sun, and they can cause skin cancer. That’s the simple definition. If you like science stuff, it’s an electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength is shorter than visible light (that’s why you can’t see it), but longer than X-rays. It’s enough to know that it’s bad for you.

B – Block
Block the sun with sunscreen.
Lots of it. The Mayo Clinic and The American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. We’ve seen other medical sites recommend as high an SPF as 45. (Be careful with young babies, especially 6 months or younger. Check with your pediatrician first.) Apply the sunscreen liberally before swimming and before using any insect repellant. And reapply it every two hours- or when it starts to wear off. Don’t forget the hard to reach places either, like the back of your elbows, earlobes and my personal “I forgot” place- the back of your knees. Also make sure to get an SPF lip balm for high UV days; there’s nothing more painful (and unsightly) than sunburned lips.

C – Cover
Cover up with clothing.
Cover with lots of clothes whenever you can. I know- you can’t really do that all the time, especially at the beach. But at least think about a wide brimmed hat- you will still look great! And sunglasses (with UV protection of course)- sunglasses make anyone look cool. If you are wearing cover up clothing to block out harmful rays of the sun, remember that tightly woven clothing is better, and dark clothing too. All this clothing may stop a beautiful tan- I get it. But it might just save your life (or your child’s life) some day.

Final Tip
Know your UV Indexes.
Most weather apps have the forecast for today’s UV Index. We are coming up here on three of the highest UV Index months, June, July and August. But it is beginning even now, in May. It’s easy to check the historic trends of UV Index readings in Texas over the last several years, and you’ll see that it’s time to think about the ABCs of sunburn protection.

Whiteside Insurance: (830) 693-8881.