Posted on 07/24/2017 at 11:54 AM by Troy Cummings
The longer days that summer offers can make driving safer. The sun is out longer, meaning you have more hours of good visibility while out on the road. But that same sun can pose a danger to your health if you’re not prepared for it. July is UV Safety Month, and we’d like to offer some tips to help you stay safe both on and off the road.
You may have heard that repeated overexposure to sunlight can cause premature aging of the skin and may lead to skin cancer. But did you know it can also damage your eyes and suppress your immune system?
Here’s what you need to know to keep the sun from ruining your summer:
- You should avoid unprotected sun exposure whenever you can, but especially from 10 am to 4 pm. UV rays are strongest during that time.
- Wear sunscreen – that’s the one everyone has heard. But are you using the right sunscreen? Find a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays, and has an SPF of 15 or higher.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’ve been swimming.
- Wear a hat to protect your scalp. If it has a broad brim that shades your face, that’s even better.
- Wear UV resistant sunglasses to protect your eyes.
- If you take medications, check the bottle or ask a pharmacist to see if you should avoid excessive exposure to sunlight while taking the medication. Some medications can make you more susceptible to UV exposure.
- For those of you who drive through the mountains, take extra care. There’s less atmosphere up there to absorb UV radiation, so more of it can get through to your skin.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an app that you can use to check the daily UV index forecast. You can download it for iPhone or Android devices at https://www.epa.gov/enviro/uv-index-mobile-app.
If you have any concerns about your skin health, contact your doctor or a dermatologist to schedule an exam. If you’re not sure what to look for, check out the American Cancer Society’s prevention and early detection info at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/what-to-look-for.html.
Stay safe and have fun in the sun this summer!
Written by Jen Casebolt
Photo by Pixabay