Sun Safety

Spring break is almost here, and if you’re anything like me, you’re ready to get outside and soak up some sun. With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to go to the beach, the pool, or just be outside in general.

Sun is good. Studies have shown that Vitamin D (found in sunlight) is beneficial for keeping our bones and and immune system strong. There have also been claims that Vitamin D has anti-cancer effects, and who can say no to that?

Unfortunately, too much sun can be harmful. We all know about sunburns, the most common form of skin irritation, and how they are not very pleasant. Along with sunburns, there are multiple other side effects of too much sun which can include headaches, dehydration, heat strokes, etc.

With that being said, it’s important to have fun in the sun, but safety should always come first. Here are some tips on ways that you can stay safe in the sun.

1. Drink water!

Being out in the sun for long periods of time can cause dehydration. In most cases, it’s minor dehydration, but heat strokes and other more serious problems are also quite common due to dehydration.

2. Take breaks.

It is ideal to find some shade or to go inside every 20 or 30 minutes. Since humans can last about 20 minutes in the sun without the use of sunscreen, then taking breaks every 20 or 20 minutes should be no problem. Also, if you do so, you might not even have to use sunscreen. (I just saved you like $5– you’re welcome).

3. Sunscreen?

Maybe. Talking from experience, I know that some parents are against the use of sunscreen due to health related issues. I am unsure of the exact science, but studies have shown that sunscreen does more harm than the sun itself. However, if you do choose to use sunscreen, it’s important to apply it correctly:

-You should apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going out in the sun, so that the cream has enough time to soak into your skin.

-Make sure to cover all areas of exposed skin, and also cover areas that you might not think could even burn (the tops of your ears, neck, etc.).

-Re-apply the cream every two hours. If you decide to go for a swim or if you sweat a lot, then you should re-apply immediately after.

I hope you take these points into consideration because sunburns… not fun. Sunstroke… really not fun. Sun poisoning… really really not fun. I’m serious, stay safe everyone, and Happy Almost-Spring-Break!

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