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Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun: Safe Ways to Enjoy the Great Outdoors

There is nothing better than getting outside on a beautiful sunny day. Whether you prefer laying on the beach, hiking in the mountains, or just hanging out with friends for a backyard barbeque, there is nothing better.

Unfortunately, all these activities can be more dangerous than you’d think. Sun exposure and the UV rays that come with it cause premature wrinkles and other signs of aging, effects of sunburn such as blisters, nausea and swelling, and a variety of more serious health issues that can’t be ignored.

Despite the dangers that come with enjoying a day out in the sun, most of us just can’t resist. The good news is that there are several ways to protect ourselves so we can continue to enjoy all of our favorite activities, without the risks.

Staying Safe in the Sun

According to David Peng, MD, MPH, of USC Department of Dermatology at Keck Medicine of USC, “The keys are controlled sun exposure, physical barriers, and sunscreen.”

With that said, it’s important to understand that knowing your risks can go a long way in avoiding them. These eight tips can help you to continue enjoying the sun safely.

  • Find the shade. It’s not always easy to find shade, but you can create your own. Large umbrellas and canopies can protect you whether on the beach or in the park.
  • Wear protective clothing. Clothing that covers your skin is always your best bet. Choosing long sleeves, pants or long skirts in darker colors offer protection but even better is clothing that is certified with ultraviolet protection. Also, don’t forget to wear a hat, preferably with a large brim to protect the face.
  • Don’t forget your sunglasses. In order to protect the eyes as well as the delicate skin around the eyes, sunglasses should be worn at all times when outdoors.
  • Always, always, always wear sunscreen. We all know that we shouldn’t step outside without it yet many of us still forget to put it on and those of you who do wear it regularly, still may not be getting what you need.

Recommendations for sunscreen use are:

Higher SPF means better protection.

Re-apply it every two hours and more often if swimming or playing sports.

Check expiration dates and don’t use any that have been around for more than two years.

Wear make-up with a built-in SPF for additional protection.

Although the sun can cause harmful effects on the skin, it also offers some positive benefits. Between the great feeling of the warmth of the sun on us and the vitamin D it provides, it would be sad if we weren’t able to enjoy it. But always remember to think safety first.


Maria Pease 

Health & Wellness Writer Bio

Maria Pease is a freelance health & wellness content writer based in Southport, North Carolina. She has written about health & wellness for more than twenty-five years and has partnered with a variety of companies doing the most amazing work. She loves being able to write about health topics that can change lives for the better.