5 Things to NOT do this Summer
Most people, especially kids, love to spend time outside playing in the sunshine – it is good for the soul! However it is up to us as adults to protect our young from serious damage that can be caused by exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The damage mightn’t show until later in life so we can be easily tricked into thinking that a sunburn here and there won’t cause any harm – every sunburn hurts…short-term and long-term, ouch!
Fun in the sun is good for us all but we have to wise about how we do it!
Photo thanks to Rachel Fraser, @justbeingreese
Next time you head out into the sunshine with your little ones, it might be worth taking the following points into consideration:
- Do not assume that a higher SPF rating gives extra protection and therefore allows extra time out in the sun.
- SPF30 sunscreens filter approximately 96.7% of UV radiation.
- SPF50 sunscreens filter approximately 98% of UV radiation.
Regardless of the SPF rating of a sunscreen it must be reapplied every two hours, especially after swimming, sweating and/or towel drying… and to our next point:
- Do not apply sunscreen only once!Further to a recent study, experts are now saying that sunscreen should be applied at least two times before going out in the sun; one thin layer of cream is not going to provide enough cover and protection from UV rays. Sunscreen also needs to be applied generously / thickly – most of us miss approximately 20% of our exposed skin when we apply sunscreen.
No sunscreen is a suit of armour!
- Do not assume that we don’t burn on cloudy days, cool days, or in the early morning or late afternoon sun.
It is UV rays not temperature that cause sun damage!
The sun’s UV rays can penetrate through clouds so even though we mightn’t feel a burn from the sun, we can still be susceptible to sunburn. The same applies to windy days; just because it’s windy doesn’t mean we can’t burn – according to the Cancer Council there is no such thing as ‘wind burn’ so if you look red after a day on a windy beach then it’s more likely that the redness came from the sun, not from the wind.
The same applies to everyday activities such as driving a car – we shouldn’t just protect with sunscreen when on the beach!
We can burn through car windows, when sitting by a window in the sun, and when hanging washing; if we really want to be UV-smart then we need to be mindful of every minute spent exposed to the sun’s dangerous rays.
Sunscreen should be applied whenever we’re exposed to the sun; even on cloudy days up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate our skin!
- Do not assume that sunscreen is all you need.
Using a sunscreen is just one of the measures you should use to protect your skin each day. Medical experts and dermatologists advise to use other forms of protection also; these include:
- Wearing UPF50+ sun-protective swimwear when in the water.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat made from UPF50+ fabric.
- Wear sunglasses that block UVA & UVB rays.
- Wear a zinc-based sunscreen on areas that are exposed to the sun.
Beach-goers tend to protect their face from the sun but not the rest of their body – how many of us put sunscreen on our legs!? One of the most common melanoma sites for women is on the legs, and for men on their backs and necks.
Bob Marley died from a melanoma on his toe, so our feet need to be protected also. We have to protect our whole body from the sun’s UV rays!
What can we do to protect ourselves and our families?
The Cancer Council’s free ‘Sun Smart’ app is a handy tool to use when heading outdoors as it will indicate when UV levels are high and sun protection is advised.You can find more information on it here.
Tribe Tropical aims to help the super mums and super dads on their quest to protect their tribe from the sun’s harmful rays.You can find out more about our sun-protective range via the following links:
Happy sun-safe fun in the sun!
Author: Emily Gradon
This article is for information purposes only, always consult your medical professional for any concerns relating to sun exposure.