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Observe National Sun Safety Week

June 4, 2013
Estherville Daily News

Given recent weather, we may have to put a disclaimer on this: This is no joke.

June 2-8 is National Sun Safety Week, a time to remind ourselves to stay safe in the sun and avoid melanoma and other sun-related diseases.

Following are some tips on how to stay safe in the sun form the Sun Safety Alliance.

n Insect repellants reduce sunscreen's SPF by up to a third. When using a combination, use a sunscreen with a higher SPF.

n Overexposure to the sun's harmful rays can result in sunburns which increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, check your local UV Index which provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. The UV Index forecast is issued each afternoon by the National Weather Service and EPA.

n Seek the shade whenever possible! The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so remember the shadow rule when in the sun: If your shadow is short it's time to abort and seek the shade.

n Don't be deceived by color or cost of sunglasses. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens or the price tag. While both plastic and glass lenses absorb some UV light, UV absorption is improved by adding certain chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings. Always choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100 percent of UV rays. Some manufacturers' labels will say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100 percent UV absorption. Look before you choose.

n Sunburn doesn't only happen during the summer. Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn. Protect yourself year-round by using sunscreen with protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and an SPF of 15 or greater. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin whenever possible. Block the sun, not the fun.



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