By Patti Hogle
Memorial Day just marked the beginning of warmer weather and that means tank tops, shorts, sandals, masks and sun.
With all the talk of social distancing, it is easy to forget the importance of keeping everyone safe from too much sun exposure.
Did you know ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is a major cause of all skin cancers and one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime?
The good news is you can enjoy the sunshine safely by taking precautions against the sun’s harmful rays.
Here is what you can do to be safe while enjoying the outdoors:
• Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds: UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling.
• Apply Sunscreen: Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
• Cover Up: Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
• Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas: Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Start sun protection habits at an early age.
To learn more about the Cancer Prevention in Action Program, which is supported with funds from the state of New York, please visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.
Patti Hogle is Cancer Prevention in Action project coordinator.