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Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap!
By: Wellness Committee Co-Chair Mary Noël George
With the weather warming and spring vacation just weeks away, here are five tips for protecting your family’s skin while outdoors.
- Insect repellants reduce sunscreen’s SPF by up to 1/3. Try to avoid applying both at the same time.
- Over exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can result in sunburns which increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, check your local UV Index which provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. The UV Index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and EPA.
- Seek the shade whenever possible! The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. so remember the shadow rule when in the sun: If your shadow is short it’s time to abort and seek the shade!
- Don’t be deceived by color or cost of sunglasses! The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens or the price tag. While both plastic and glass lenses absorb some UV light, UV absorption is improved by adding certain chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings. Always choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays. Look before you choose!
- Sunburn doesn’t only happen during the summer! Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn. Protect yourself year round by using sunscreen with protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and an SPF 30 or greater. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin whenever possible!
Remember to “Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap!” when you're outdoors. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, slap on a hat, and wrap on sunglasses.