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HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM UV RAYS

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People who get a lot of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays are at greater risk for skin cancer and eye problems.

Sunlight is the main source of UV rays, but you don't have to avoid the sun completely. Physical activity is important for good health, so you don't want to stay inside all the time. But getting too much sun can be harmful. You have to have balance and take steps to limit your exposure to UV rays.

Some people think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the lake, beach or pool. But sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the sun.

Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. if you are going to be in the sun, "Slip!" "Slop!" "Slap!" and "Wrap!" is a catchphrase that can help you remember some of the steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays: slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them.

SEEK SHADE

Seeking shade here in the desert is a challenge! Avoid being outdoors in direct sunlight too long, especially between the hours of 11Am and 2pm when UV light is strongest. UV rays can also reach below the water's surface, so you can still get a burn even if you're in the water and feeling cool.

Some UV rays can also pass through windows. Typical car windows block most UVB rays but a smaller portion of UVA rays. Tinted windows help block more UVA rays. If you spend a lot of time in your car, it would be wise to apply sunscreen, especially to left arm for driver for protection.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN WITH CLOTHING

When you are out in the sun, wear clothing to cover as much skin as possible. Most protective are long-sleeved shirts and long pants as they cover the most skin. Dark colors generally provide more protection then light colors.

Some companies now make clothing that's lightweight, comfortable, and protects against UV exposure. These sun-protective clothes may have a label listing the UV protection factor (UPF) value. The higher the UPF, the higher the protection from UV rays.

WEAR A HAT

A hat with at least a 2-3" brim all around is ideal because it protects areas that are often exposed to intense sun, such as the ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp. A shade cap (which looks like a baseball cap with about 7" of fabric draping down the side and back) also is good, and will provide more protection for the neck.

WEAR SUNGLASSES THAT BLOCK UV RAYS

UV-blocking sunglasses are important for protecting the delicate skin around the eyes, as well as the eyes themselves.

The ideal sunglasses should block 99%-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Before you buy, check the label to make sure they do. Labels that say "UV absorption up to 400nm" or "Meets ANSI requirements" means the glasses block at least 99% of rays, Those labeled "cosmetic" block about 70% of UV rays. If there is no label, don't assume the sunglasses provide any UV protection.

Hope I provided you with some useful information. Next week: all about sunscreen!

Barrett brings 40 years of business leadership experience to ElderCaring. It is her goal for each client to receive an in-home assessment to assist in a smooth transition. Her assistance in navigating the complex healthcare system as well as difficult life decisions that our clients face give ElderCaring a unique advantage.

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Guest Thursday, 27 July 2017
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