The Peoria City/County Health Department is reminding the public about Sun Safety during summer fun. During outdoor summer activities, the sun can cause painful sunburns for people of all ages. Sunburns can happen quickly but can also cause problems over the years. Sunburns can increase the risk of a child, teen, or young adult developing skin cancer later in life. A person does not have to be at the pool, beach, or on vacation to get too much sun. Their skin needs protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they are outdoors. There are easy options for protection from the sun’s UV rays.
*Seek shade – UV rays are strongest and most harmful during midday, 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., so it is best to stay out of the sun during these times. If this is not possible, seek shade under a tree, umbrella, or a pop-up tent. Use these options to prevent sunburn, not to seek relief once it has happened. UV rays, of course, are present on bright and sunny days, but UV rays can also penetrate through cloud and haze cover, making cloudy and overcast days dangerous as well.
*Cover up – Clothing that covers the skin helps protect against UV rays. Although a long-sleeved shirt and long pants with a tight weave are best, they are not always practical. A t-shirt, long shorts, or a beach cover-up are good choices, but it is wise to double up on protection by applying sunscreen or keeping in the shade when possible.
*Get a hat – Hats with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck give great protection. Baseball caps are popular, but they do not protect the ears and neck. If wearing a cap, be sure to protect exposed areas with sunscreen.
*Grab shades – Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays, which can lead to cataracts later in life. Look for sunglasses that wrap around and block as much of 100% of both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays as possible.
*Rub on sunscreen – Use sunscreen with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection. For most effective protection, apply sunscreen generously 30 minutes before going outdoors. Do not forget to protect ears, noses, lips, and tops of feet.
For more information about summer safety, visit our website at www.pcchd.org or call (309) 679-6131.