What You May Not Know About Sun Safety: Protect Yourself This Summer
woman walking near body of water
Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash

What You Might Not Know About Sun Safety: How to Protect Yourself This Summer

Ella Kipling July 14, 2022

The sun, as you probably already know, is hot. While most people would not dispute this fact, many are unaware of the dangers that being out in the sun can lead to, whether that may be sunburn, melanoma, or damaging your eyes.

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, according to the CDC, and Cancer Research UK states that up to 9 in 10 cases of melanoma skin cancer could be prevented by increased sun safety.

But how can you tell when you need to be extra safe in the sun? To know when you need to implement sun safety measures, make sure to check something called the UV index, which tells us how strong the sun’s UV rays are. If it is three or above, you need to protect your skin.

Sunscreen

While this may sound obvious, you may be surprised at the things you need to pay attention to when purchasing, and applying, sunscreen.

Make sure the label of your sunscreen shows a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and UVA protection of at least four stars.

When applying sunscreen, you must remember to remain vigilant and reapply throughout the day, particularly if you are out all day in the heat.

You can still burn in water- in fact, water reflects UV rays which actually increases your exposure and risk of burning. As soon as you are out of the sea or the pool, reapply your sunscreen as the water can wash it off, or it can be rubbed off by your towel.

Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel on Unsplash

Protecting your eyes

Sunglasses are important to wear in the sun as they protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. When buying sunglasses you need to look out for the ‘CE Mark’ or a UV 400 label and 100% UV protection written on the label or sticker.

Glasses with protection at the side of the eye (such as those with a wraparound style) are a plus.

Other measures

Other things you need to consider include wearing a hat, and staying in the shade as much as possible.

Hats with wide brims are the safest to wear in the sun as they shade your face, neck, and ears. Tightly woven fabrics such as canvas work best at protecting you from the sun.

Cancer Research UK says that ‘spending time in the shade is one of the best ways to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.’ You can create your own shade if none is available by bringing a large parasol or canopy to the beach.

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Ella Kipling is an Entertainment and News Writer at GRV Media. She regularly writes a mixture of news and features for HITC and has been part of the team since 2020. After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in English Literature, Ella is currently studying for an MA in Magazine Journalism at City University. She has a keen interest in current affairs and can usually be found reading the news, with her nose in a book (and updating her Goodreads), talking about women’s rights, or listening to Showtunes.