Your risk of getting skin cancer is real. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.
While some exposure to sunlight can be enjoyable, too much is dangerous, causing immediate effects like blistering sunburns, as well as longer-term problems like eye damage (such as age-related macular degeneration) and skin disorders/skin cancer.
Part of the sun’s energy that reaches us on earth is composed of rays of invisible ultraviolet (UV) light. When ultraviolet light rays (UVA and UVB) enter the skin or eye, they damage skin cells and can cause burns resulting in visible and invisible injuries.
When outdoors, follow these simple tips:
- Avoid long exposure times to the sun.
- Schedule and play outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Sit or play in the shade as much as possible.
- Use SPF15 or higher sunscreen.
- Cover up – wear a T-shirt, long pants and a hat.
- Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.
- When swimming, wear goggles to protect your eyes from the sun, chlorine and/or bacteria from ponds or lakes.
- Talk to family and friends about sun protection.