Thanks to the advent of spring, we’re enjoying warmer days with more hours of daylight. Few things are more pleasant than heading outside for a few hours of relaxing in the sunshine.
While you enjoy the sunny afternoons, don’t let the sun catch you or the special senior in your life with your guard down. Protecting yourself from the sun is incredibly important. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and overexposure to sunlight can increase your risk of developing cataracts. Even milder sun ailments like sunburn and dehydration can be unpleasant. Remember these tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from the sun and heat.
- Wear sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays. As we age, our skin’s ability to repair sun damage declines, so this is incredibly important. Try to apply sunscreen about an hour before going out, and reapply every two hours.
- Cover your skin with hats and long sleeves. A hat with a broad brim and clothing that is closely-woven provides you with your own portable bit of shade.
- Wear sunglasses that have at least 99 percent UV absorption. This will protect your eyes from bright light and wind, in addition to protecting you from increased risk of developing cataracts. Sunglasses that wrap around protect your eyes from all angles.
- Protect yourself from the sun even on cloudy days. The sun doesn’t feel as hot when its cloudy, but the UVA and UVB rays still shine down and get absorbed by your skin.
- If you’re particularly sensitive to heat, avoid going outside during the hottest hours of the day, and seek out air-conditioned environments.
- Remember to drink plenty of water. Feeling thirsty isn’t actually a reliable indicator of dehydration—by the time your brain signals thirst, your body may already be dangerously dehydrated. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables can help you keep hydrated.
As long as you take protective measures, spending time in the sun can be a blast. Enjoy the warm weather!