Summer Sun Safety Month is observed in August as a reminder to keep yourself safe and healthy in the sun during the summer. Sunlight is essential for your body to produce Vitamin D, however too much of it can cause harmful effects to your skin and eyes. Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can cause skin cancer as well as cataracts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), protection from UV rays is important all year, not just during the summer. UV rays can reach you on cloudy and cool days, and they reflect off surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. In the continental United States, UV rays tend to be strongest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daylight saving time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time). To reduce your risk of getting skin or eye diseases, we recommend that you take the following precautions while you’re having fun in the summer.
- Staying in the shade or under an umbrella, tree or other shelter when possible.
- When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants/skirts that provide UV protection.
- Wear a hat that has a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck.
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
- Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher on all exposed skin. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Please remember that sunscreen is NOT recommended for babies 6 months or younger. Infants should be kept of out the sun during the midday and wear protective clothing if they must be in the sun.
For more information on summer sun safety, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm.