Beaches, Pools and Sun Safety
Sun Safety and Tanning
The health risks and the development of skin cancers from overexposure to the sun (UV Radiation) are largely preventable. And this involves both outdoor (natural) and indoor (tanning beds) exposure.
Using a combination of five steps you can protect yourself against sun damage.
- Cover up. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
- Slop on SPF 30+ sunscreen – make sure it is broad spectrum and water resistant. Reapply when needed (especially after swimming, sweating or toweling). Use a sunscreen lip balm.
- Seek shade or make shade by using an umbrella, a UV protective tent or pop-up shade shelter.
- Slide on some sunglasses – Wear close fitting wrap around glasses with UV 400 or 100% UV protection.
- Time of Day: Limit time in the sun when the UV index is 3 or higher, usually between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Not only can the ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning beds cause premature aging, it also increases the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Indoor tanning before the age of 30 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, and in 2009 sunbeds (UV tanning beds) were moved up to the highest cancer risk category—group 1— ‘carcinogenic to humans’ by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Those most at risk are: under 18 years of age, have fair or freckly skin, burn easily, have a lot of moles, have had skin cancer in the past, have a family history of skin cancer, or use medication that increases your sensitivity to UV.
You should NEVER use a tanning bed.