(PCM) It’s already mid-July and summer is officially in full swing. With temperatures and humidity around the country soaring into the oppressive range, it’s important to stay cool and avoid any damaging exposure to harmful UV rays.
Causing more deaths each year than car accidents in countries such as Australia, Ireland, Spain, and the UK, skin cancer is on the rise as a top health issue around the world and warrants preventive measures.
New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, in the world, while North America and Europe have the second highest rates. In the U.S. this year, an estimated 9,940 people will die of melanoma.
Excessive heat is also a killer and can cause heat stroke and other serious health complications.
Below is a list of our top tips for staying cool and healthy this summer, so be smart, grab some sunscreen, and enjoy the sun!
1. The number one tip for staying safe in the summer sun, and every season’s sun for that matter, is to wear sunscreen! Experts suggest wearing 30 SPF sunscreen every time you venture outside to prevent sunburn which could potentially lead to skin cancer, but anything above 15 SPF is considered safe.
2. Reapply sunscreen every 30 minutes when outdoors to ensure complete coverage!
3. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, and be sure to buy sunglasses with 100% UV protection.
4. Keep a hat or light umbrella in your bag/car to provide shade during outdoor events, such as graduations and sports games.
5. Stay hydrated! It’s easy to succumb to the summer heat when you’re dehydrated, so be sure to bring a water bottle with you on trips and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Doctors recommend drinking 8 eight-ounce glasses a day, or the equivalent of a half gallon.
6. Wear loose, tightly-woven, light colored clothing: loose clothes allow for better airflow than tight garments, a tightly woven piece of clothing provides better protection from UV rays, and light colors deflect the sun’s rays better than dark colors, keeping you cooler for longer.
7. If you do suffer from sunburn, freeze aloe gel into ice cubes and rub the cooling cubes on the affected areas to relieve the pain. Remember to continue to hydrate and moisturize, and use an OTC pain reliever if the burn causes a lot of discomfort.
8. And last but not least, NEVER leave children or pets in the car in hot weather! The temperature in a parked car can reach as high as 160 degrees while the outdoor temperature is only 78 degrees.