Summer unofficially kicks off each Memorial Day weekend, as our first real chance to head outdoors and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention’s annual reminder is to practice sun safety. They say to be mindful of how the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation affects us.
The effects of exposure to UV rays accumulate over your lifetime. Overexposure to this radiation is linked to skin cancer, which remains the most common form of cancer in the United States, and the rates are rising.
The UV Index is a forecast of the sun’s UV intensity and the expected risk of overexposure to the sun. The UV Index is reported on a scale from 0 to 11+, where 0 is no UV (nighttime) and the higher the number gets, the higher the risk you are at of harm from UV exposure.
By reducing your exposure to UV rays, you can decrease your chances of developing skin cancer, cataracts and other eye damage.
A favorite tip is to stay safe in the sun by remembering to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP and WRAP:
• SLIP on long-sleeved shirts and clothes that protect your skin from the sun.
• SLOP on a broad spectrum SPF 15+ sunscreen and reapply often.
• SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat.
• WRAP on a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses that wrap around your face provide better protection from UV rays.