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Regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic, many children and adults are looking forward to spending time this summer out in the sun. As things open up, families can hang out in the parks, take long walks, or swim in a pool or lake.  Whichever outdoor activity you and your family enjoy, it’s important to guard against excess exposure to the sun. Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays has been linked to various conditions, including sunburn, heat illness, long-term skin damage, and even skin cancer. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the skin’s surface and damage underlying skin cells. Below are six tips to avoid catching too many rays when you spend time outside:
  1. It’s best to stay out of the sun between 10:00A and 2:00P. It’s during this time that the sun’s rays are the strongest, so follow the tips below if you do have to be out. Before heading to the beach or lake, you might check your area’s ultraviolet intensity or UV Index.
  2. When outside, spend as much time as possible in the shade. This can be under umbrellas, trees, or other types of shade. Remember that as little as 15 minutes of UV exposure can damage the skin.
  3. A hat with a wide brim can protect your face, nose, ears, and neck. Baseball caps don’t protect your ears and back of the neck, so additional clothing should be worn to cover those areas.
  4. Protective clothing is a good idea when venturing outside. Dark materials provide more UV protection than light-colored fabrics. T-shirts for your upper body should be worn, at a minimum.
  5. Protecting your eyes from UV rays is very important. Wearing sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays is a valuable way to guard against UV. Excessive UV exposure to the eyes can lead to cataracts.
  6. Anytime you plan to be out and exposed to the sun, you should wear a sunscreen with an SPF 15 (sun protection factor 15) or higher. The sunscreen should be applied even if you are following the above tips or if the day is cloudy or cool. Also, be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours if you are out in the sun swimming, sweating, or drying off.  Unless cosmetics come with an SPF rating, it is unlikely they offer much protection against the sun.
As area parks, pools, and tennis courts gradually open after the Covid-19 shutdown, it’s essential to stay safe. You’ll want to follow area safety guidelines and protect yourself and your children against excess UV exposure.  Sunset Pediatric Urgent Care is here to help you through these difficult times. Should your children require urgent medical attention, we are seeing patients on an appointment-only basis. If your situation is a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.   We post the latest CoVid-19 updates and any changes in our procedures on our website.  For an appointment or the latest safety guidelines, feel free to give us a call, 281-920-5446.