Elder Care: Tips for Sun Safety Week

Sunset over the Flores SeaJune 2 -8 is "Sun Safety Week"

Despite what seemed like an endless winter, spring has hit with blooming flowers and trees, warmer weather (sometimes with a hint of summer) and a shining sun – finally!  It’s so pleasant to finally go out and enjoy the outdoors and get some fresh air!

In order to reduce your chance of skin cancer, you should take the following elder care precautions:

  1. Between 10am and 4pm, the sun’s UV rays are strongest so try to schedule your activities before or after those times.
  2. Sunscreen can protect you year round – look for sunscreen that has a SPF of at least 15 and is labeled to protect both the UVA and UVB rays.  Don’t forget to slather it on any exposed skin – many people forget the back of their neck, top of the hands and feet, nose and shoulder area to name a few.
  3. There is also protective clothing available that is specifically made to protect you from the sun.  While it may cost you a little more, it works well if you’re in the sun a lot.  Also, be fashionable and wear a wide brimmed hat – have you noticed that hats are back in style?
  4. Sunglasses are also an important item to have and not just to avoid sun glare when driving.  When choosing sunglasses, read the label – you want a pair that says it blocks 99%-100% of UV rays.  If it’s labeled “UV absorption up to 400nm,” that’s the same thing.  Don’t assume that because the sunglasses are expensive or the lens is dark that it blocks the UV rays.

Besides watching out for the sun, make sure you hydrate well.  If you feel thirsty, then you are probably already dehydrated.  Carry a bottle of water or sports drink with you even if you’re going for a short walk.

You can find more information at the Sun Safety Alliance web site.