July is UV Safety Awareness Month, a time to spread awareness on the importance of protecting yourself and your family from the harmful effects on the sun’s UV rays. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people have been diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined. In Florida, Jefferson County has the 7th highest rate of melanoma diagnoses among all counties in the U.S. Which is 135% higher than the national average from 2002-2006, according to the EPA. Taking steps to avoid sun damage and skin cancer can be easy if you follow these safety guidelines:
- Seek shade when between 10 am to 4 pm, as the sun's glare is the most intense within those hours.
- If you are planning an outdoor activity, bring an umbrella or tent to protect your skin from burning in the sun.
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, and especially for children, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Follow the directions on your sunscreen bottle for proper use.
- Sunscreen should be re-applied during the day, not just once in the morning. Most sunscreens will need to be re-applied every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
Remember, although spending time in the Florida sun may be fun, it is important to consider your long-term health. Protecting your skin now will reduce the risk of skin cancer and sun damage. For more information on sun safety, click here.
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