Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun & tanning beds is the main cause. In fact, getting a sunburn just once every 2 years can triple your risk of developing skin cancer.
Here are ways to protect yourself, family and even your pets from excessive UV radiation:
- Do not burn or tan. Avoid intentional tanning as it may contribute to skin cancer & premature aging of skin.
- Seek shade. Get under cover when the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
- Wear protective clothing. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants & a wide-brimmed hat. Invest in UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Apply sunscreen generously. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 of higher. This will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Always apply 15 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, and after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
- Use extra caution near water and sand. These surfaces reflect the damaging rays & increase your chance of sunburn.
- Check the UV Index every day. The higher the UV Index, the more protection you will need to provide.
- Obtain vitamin D through food and supplements instead of relying on the sun to provide it.
- Pay special attention to children and the elderly who can be more sensitive to the sun. Children burn more easily and should be protected using the steps above. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected using hats and protective clothing.
- Your pets can also develop skin cancer. Use sunscreen made especially for pets and apply to nose, face and ears, and areas where hair is thin. Look for sun protection shirts with at least 30+ UFP. The easiest method is to keep them indoors between 10 am & 3 pm.
Contact: Paula Cain, Emergency Management Director, 767-0380