Summer is here and you know what that means—it’s time to lather on the sunscreen and only see the world through your sunnies. Since July is UV Safety Month, we wanted to make sure you’re having fun in the sun while still staying protected during those beach trips and family barbecues.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible light rays with high energy levels. The three types of UV rays consist of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. UVB rays are the most dangerous and damaging to your skin and eyes.
Sunlight is the obvious natural source of UV radiation, while tanning beds and sunlamps are the main artificial sources. Although you can opt out of tanning indoors, it’s a little harder to avoid the sun, so you need to protect yourself.
UV radiation gives off Vitamin D, which is essential for our health. However, we only need a small amount of it. It is recommended to get around 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week. Overexposure can lead to sunburn, premature aging, skin cancer, and eye diseases.
Unless you plan on spending your summer under a rock, you’ll need to shield yourself from the sun. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher. And an important part that most people forget—you should reapply your sunblock every 2 hours and immediately after swimming or sweating. UV rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm so be extra careful during those hours.
Next time you’re packing your bags for your day at the pool or park, don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, and umbrellas. Have fun and be safe this summer!
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A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Amanda works hard at balancing her passion for writing and marketing. She is a Pittsburgh native that just recently moved to Columbus and enjoys doing just about anything outdoors from going on hikes to taking her dog for walks around the city.