Summer Sun Safety
Summer is a great time to go outside and enjoy the warm weather while we play, exercise, vacation or staycation, and we can all do it safely by taking measures to prevent skin cancer. It is important to always take measures to protect ourselves from the harms of ultraviolet (UV) rays during the summer months, cloudy days, and throughout the remainder of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.” Ultraviolet rays produce an invisible radiation can cause damage to unprotected skin in as little as fifteen minutes, and they are emitted from the sun, tanning beds and sunlamps. Stay up to date with the UV rays on your area daily by checking the weather on a smartphone application, the television, or the internet.
The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have some great tips to protect yourself from harmful UV rays that include:
Reduce the damage of sun damage by staying in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter when doing outdoor activities.
When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts, which can provide protection from UV rays. Dark colors offer more UV protection than light colors. Clothes made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection.
- Also, when possible, opt to research and purchase the best choice for clothing that is certified under the standards from the Skin Cancer Foundation as offering UV protection.
For the most protection, a hat should have a brim all the way around that provides shade to the face, ears, and the back of the neck.
Sunglasses are a great way not only to allow you to see during sunny days but to also protect your eyes from UV rays that can cause cataracts.
Most sunscreen products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering sunlight. They contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. All sunscreen products are not created equal. Therefore, if your skin does not react well to a sunscreen, try a another one with different ingredients and check in with your doctor/dermatologist for more suggestions and information.
- Sunscreens are assigned a sun protection factor (SPF) number that rates their effectiveness in blocking UV rays. The higher the SPF number the more sun protection you are likely to have. In addition, the FDA There are many types of sunscreen products, when purchasing one for yourself you should always check to make sure it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.
- Not all sunscreens are broad spectrum, so it is important to look for it on the label. Broad spectrum sunscreen provides protection from the sun’s UV rays.
In summary, to have fun under the sun we must protect our skin appropriately from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Some great ways to protect yourself include, wearing appropriate clothing, sunglasses, hats, finding shade and wearing sunscreen. At Georgia State University, Student Health Promotion wants students to utilize the tools they learn through our BeWellPanthers Online Magazine, the @BeWellPanthers, Youtube page, and Wellness Wednesdays to help them make healthy choices throughout their time at Georgia State University and beyond. For more information on services, programs, and volunteer opportunities please visit the BeWellPanthers PIN page and BeWellPanthers on Instagram.
During the month of July we will offer the following #WellnessWednesdaysGSU Instagram live sessions:
Wednesday, July 7: Summer Safety Tips, Students will engage in virtual engaging activities through Wellness Wednesdays to learn about UVA/UBV rays, sunscreen, and hydration tips. Go to PIN to record your attendance to earn POUNCE Rewards.
Wednesday, July 14: Summer Travel Tips, The educational materials discussed during this live session is in accordance to the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control along with the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Students will engage in virtual activities through Wellness Wednesdays to learn about summer travel safety. Go to PIN to record your attendance to earn POUNCE Rewards.
Wednesday, July 21: Summer Gardening Ideas, Environmental wellness is all about taking care of your environment and that includes the environment that you usually live in or reside in. Students will engage in virtual activities through Wellness Wednesdays to learn about summer gardening ideas. Go to PIN to record your attendance to earn POUNCE Rewards.
Wednesday, July 28: De-Stress Tips for Finals, Self-Care is all about doing things that are within your control to help you get you in a mindset where you will be able reach where you want to be in life. Students will engage with the health educator and learn self-care tips to help de-stress for finals. Go to PIN to record your attendance to earn POUNCE Rewards.