July is National UV Safety Month. UV rays can be very harmful. Caregivers need to take special note to ensure that the person they’re caring for is well protected against UV rays whenever they are outside.
How UV Rays Affect Your Body
Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Yes, skin is an organ and knowing that it’s the largest organ of your body means you should take better care of it than you probably do.
The Truth About UV Rays
- UV Rays Cause Damage to Many Parts of Your Body – Most people think of UV Rays as being harmful to their skin; however, UV Rays can damage your eyes, cause cancer, promote age spots, premature wrinkling, and cause tough leathery skin.
- Indoor Tanning – Contrary to believe, you need to practice UV Safety when using indoor tanning lamps and beds also. The only way to “tan” is to damage the skin and pigmentation.
- Melanoma – The National Cancer Institute states that one person dies every hour from melanoma. It’s important to keep a close watch on your skin; look for any changes and seek medical attention immediately.
- Vitamin D – While sunshine is a known source for Vitamin D, it’s not the only source. Due to the risks UV rays pose, the NIH suggests these food sources for Vitamin D instead of the sun.
- Your Immune System – UV Safety is important because UV rays don’t only hurt the skin, they can also cause a weakened immune system. UV rays suppress the immune system in many ways.
Top 5 UV Safety Ideas
- Choosing Sun Screen – Most people apply up to 50% less sunscreen than needed. Rule of thumb is to apply at least 1 ounce of an SPF 30, “Broad Spectrum” protection 30 minutes before going outdoors; reapplying every 2 to 3 hours.
- The Best Time – For the best UV Safety don’t go outdoors during peak hours. Avoid UV rays between 10am – 4pm; saving outdoor activities for early mornings and evenings.
- Keep Covered – UV Safety doesn’t just include using the right sunscreen. It is highly suggested that you wear a wide brimmed hat and always wear sunglasses that include UV broad spectrum protection.
- Best Protection – The best protection available comes from titanium dioxide and zinc oxide blockers. While not cosmetically appealing due to the thickness; they have become slightly more appealing with a variety of bright colors.
- Cover Up – If you must be in the sun’s rays during the hottest hours of the day, cover up! There are now long sleeved shirts and pants which have wicking abilities that help keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold.
UV Safety is so easy, yet so many either don’t want to be bothered or simply don’t believe they will be damaged by the sun. The truth is that weather it’s UV rays from the sun or UV rays from indoor tanning, everyone is at risk!
Want To Find Out More?
If you’re interested in finding out more about UV Rays, take the UV Safety Quiz.
Photo by BryonLippincott