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Christian Living

Health

Summer Sun Sense

With summer upon us and the promise of many lazy hazy days ahead, it is important to remember some sun safety tips so that miserable whining due to sunburn is not part of the daily routine.

I am not a dermatologist, but I am married to one and the mother of two red heads besides, so I do have a little bit of experience in this department.

To make your summer more enjoyable, and void of lobster red skin for you and your children, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Apply, apply, apply. And reapply. Even if your sunscreen label indicates that it is waterproof and sweat-proof, it is still necessary to reapply at intervals, especially after taking a dip. Water dilutes the SPF, so you may reduce your SPF from 30 to 15 simply by going in the water.
  • Apply even when it is cloudy outside. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays pass through hazy, cloudy skies. So don’t go out without it.
  • Combining insect repellant with sunscreen is not the best idea, as sunscreen needs to be applied more frequently than bug spray, and you could end up with more insect repellant than is advised.
  • Use at least SPF 30. The higher the SPF, the better it blocks UV rays.
  • Get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day, even if you aren’t planning on an afternoon of lounging at the community pool. Research shows the average person accumulates up to 14 hours of incidental (back and forth to the mailbox, through the car window, etc.) sun exposure each week.
  • Don’t count on your SPF 15 moisturizer to do the trick. Moisturizers and sun block are not created equal.
  • Don’t forget to wear a hat or shades, for you or your bambinos.
  • Don’t underestimate the amount of protection simply staying in the shade can provide. It can eliminate 60 percent of the sun’s UV rays.
  • Most sunscreens actually expire before their expiration date, so don’t assume it will be 100 percent effective.
  • There are clothing companies that produce swimwear with built in SPF protection. You can also wash in UV protection with something called SunGuard (check it out at www.sunguardsunprotection.com).

If you still are vigilant and become sunburned, take an aspirin and soak in a lukewarm or tepid bath for 15 minutes with a fistful of baking soda. Aloe is also soothing.


Copyright © Kathy Pride. Used by permission.

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