Shaatra weighs in on:Fun in the Sun?
This month’s expert:Certified Lifeguard Kelly Z., head lifeguard at the Special Children’s Center.
No matter the season, no matter the weather, protection from the sun is a must, says Kelly, our certified lifeguard on call. When’s a good time to apply block? First thing in the morning, of course! Kelly recommends applying an SPF face moisturizer after washing up. “This will not give the greatest protection while sitting in the sun,” she cautions, “however, it does offer some protection during the winter, on cloudy days, or while driving.” So, whether you enjoy soaking up the rays or sitting in the shade, you’ll still want to make a habit of applying some level of protection from Mr. Golden Sun.
How often do I need
to apply sunscreen?
Kelly:Applying sunscreen once in the morning is NOT effective enough. Sunscreen, whether it has a high SPF rating or not, needs to be reapplied every couple of hours, and every 80 minutes when sweating or swimming. Remember, towel-drying yourself after swimming removes all traces of sunscreen, so you’ve got to go for round two and reapply if you’re going to dive back into that pool!
Your lips need protection, too! Kelly recommends adding SPF lip balmto your summer shopping list. Not only will it prevent chapping, but it will also keep sun blisters at bay. Both Banana Boat (a popular sunblock brand) and Neutrogena produce lip balm that is available over the counter.
Kelly exhorts all moms to drop the notion that “I don’t need sunscreen because it’s a cloudy day,” “there’s a breeze,” or worse, “the sun is in and out.” Those times are the biggest pitfalls for insufficient sun protection and its dangerous consequences!
Forget about spraying your children with sunscreen and then letting them jump right into the pool. Lotion needs to dry thoroughly first, Kelly emphasizes – which translates to at least fifteen minutes of setting following application. Only once sunblock lotion has been completely absorbed by the body should fun be had in the water.
Moms: Have you recently noticed spots on your arms or legs that you don’t remember having been there before? They may in fact have appeared on your skin not all that long ago. Sunspots have been known to crop up during one’s childbearing years. Dermatologists recommend we give them special protection from the sun. Expect them to darken significantly during the summer. While they fade over time, they may not disappear altogether.
Let’s Talk Numbers
What is SPF, anyway?
The Sun Protection Factor is the measure of what fraction of the
sun’s UV rays will burn on one’s body. For example, an SPF 50 sunblock is one through which one fiftieth of the sun’s
rays will reach the skin.
Almost 90% of skin cancer cases are caused by UV ray exposure.
Applying sunblock daily decreases the risk for melanoma
by 50 percent.
Be responsible and stay protected from the sun at all times!