July is UV Safety Month

Summer is here! Summer is here and it’s time to get serious about UV protection!

Sun safety should be considered during any season and amidst any weather because during these times we are still vulnerable to the sun’s rays. Without proper protection, there is an increased risk of eye damage, skin cancers, and premature aging.

THIE is here to share some tips to protect your skin!

Wear Sunscreen

Choosing a good sunscreen and wearing it outside is a very important factor in protecting against both UVB and UVA rays. Effective sunscreens should be labeled as broad-spectrum and have an SPF of 30 or more. At application use the “Teaspoon and Shot Glass Rule” to apply to the correct amount of sunscreen to the exposed areas of skin. Measure out about a teaspoon for your neck and face, and a shot glass amount to apply to the rest of your body.

Sunscreen is only effective so long before it requires another application, so be mindful of the time recommendations on the labels.

This tip is crucial for all, but especially our EMTs out in the field. Did you know that driving can cause skin damage! The rays both through the windshield and the driver’s door can have a huge effect on your skin.

Wear Sunglasses

It’s easy to tell when our skin becomes affected by the sun’s rays, but less obvious is the effect it has on the eyes. In order to properly protect the retina from UV rays, you should purchase and wear glasses that are labeled as 100% UV protection.

The FDA says to “consider large, wraparound-style frames, which may provide more UV protection because they cover the entire eye socket.” While unique lens shapes and colors are fashionable, they do not protect against UV rays.

Monitor Time Spent in the Sun

Spending time out in the sun benefits the Vitamin D levels in a person’s body, however, this only requires 15-20 minutes of sun exposure per day. Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. the UV is at its strongest. To avoid sunburn, monitor the amount of time you spend in direct sunlight.

Did you know you can check the UV index based on your location?

Wear Proper Clothing

Aside from sunglasses, wide-brim hats can help to prevent sunburn to your scalp, face, and shoulders. Clothes do a fine job of blocking harmful UV radiation, especially those labeled as having UPF, or ultra-protection factor. Darker clothing with thicker fabrics does a better job at protecting your skin than lighter fabrics such as linen. When you’re outside be sure to wear clothes that are loose-fitting to avoid stretching fabrics too much to where they are no longer protecting from UV rays.

Information and quotes are derived from research from the CDC, EPA, and FDA.

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