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In this issue: Sun safety: Have fun—be safe!

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Sun safety: Have fun—be safe!

Summer is fast approaching. And although it is important for everyone to protect themselves from the sun’s damaging rays year-round, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is greatest from May through August. People are also more likely to have prolonged sun exposure when the weather is nice, increasing the likelihood of sun-related healthcare issues.

Excessive exposure to UV rays is associated with sunburn, premature aging, eye problems such as cataracts, and of course, skin cancer. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer in the United States. This e-newsletter offers tips you can share with your patients to keep them safe from damaging rays. Keep reading to find out more.

Staying safe in the sun

Your patients can still have fun in the sun—they just need to take a few safety precautions to protect their skin and eyes. Here are some recommendations:

  • Promote sunscreen: Sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) of 30 or above should be applied liberally to all exposed skin at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying one ounce, or about a shot-glass full, to ensure full SPF protection. It should be reapplied every two hours and also after swimming, sweating or toweling off. Promote the importance of wearing SPF sunscreen by giving away mini bottles of Sunscreen Lotion.
  • Tell ‘em to cover up: Reduce UV exposure by staying out of the sun or wearing loose-fitting clothing made of tightly woven fabric. Help shield their eyes and the delicate tissue surrounding them with wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses with UVA protection. Promote staying cool and covering up on your social channels. Ask followers to post how they plan on keeping their skin safe from the sun. Reward participants with Floating Hipster Sunglasses or enter them in a drawing for a logo’d Columbia® sun hat or 6-Foot Beach Umbrella.
  • Educate on skin exams: Your patients should be thoroughly examining their skin every few months for abnormalities or changes. Moles or other dark spots that suddenly appear or change size, color, texture or shape should be immediately brought to the attention of a physician or dermatologist for further investigation. Educate patients on the importance of self-checks and imprint SPF-containing tubes of lip balm or color-changing Sun Fun Bracelets as a friendly reminder. You can also imprint the warning signs on a bookmark or magnet for easy reference.

Summer is a great time of year for fun in the sun. Your patients will be eager to enjoy outdoor picnics, barbeques, swimming and more. Help keep them safe by providing them with these preventative tips so they don’t get burned—they’ll be sure to thank you!

“When and Where Are UV Rays Strongest?” Sun Safety Alliance. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 Feb. 2015.

“What Is ultraviolet (UV) radiation?” American Cancer Society. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 Feb. 2015.

“Skin Cancer Risk Behaviors Among U.S. Adults.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 May 2012. Web. Retrieved 12 Feb. 2015.

“Sunscreens Explained.” Skin Cancer Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 11 Feb. 2015.

“Don’t Get Burned! Summer Sun Safety Tips.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p, n.d.  Web. Retrieved 11 Feb. 2015.

 

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