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4 Ways to Stay Safe in the Sun

Protecting yourself from the sun and other summer perils

Summertime activities bring their own hazards. But with careful preparation, some of the pitfalls of summer can be avoided. Here are four threats to watch for — and ways to stay safe.

Sun safety 

Prevent sunburns and heat exhaustion by:

  • Limiting sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

  • Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

  • Drinking plenty of water at all times.

  • Taking frequent breaks when playing sports or working in the hot sun.

Water safety

Drowning-related injuries, averaging 10 per day, are a leading cause of accidental death in the United States, especially among children. Paying attention is key. Here are four things you can do to stay safe in the water:

  • Never leave children in the water alone.

  • For younger children, stay within an arm's length while in the water.

  • Children who can't swim should always wear life vests, not inflatable "floaties."

  • Both children and adults should wear approved life vests when boating, water skiing or jet skiing.

Driving safety

It might seem strange to consider practicing sun safety while driving, but according to a study by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, almost 53% of skin cancers in the U.S. occur on the left side of the body. The likely reason? UV exposure from the window (or left) side of the driver's seat.

Stay sun-safe while driving by:

  • Applying sunscreen to exposed skin before driving, especially long distances. Keep a tube handy for reapplication if you're on an extra-long road trip.

  • Tinting your vehicle's windows. Protective film designed to screen out UVA and UVB rays can help provide protection when your window's up.

  • Wearing sunglasses that screen out UV light. Your eyes are vulnerable, too, so keep them protected.

Camping and picnic safety

A hike in the woods or picnic in the park can be great fun, but nothing puts a damper on a picnic like uninvited guests. Mosquitoes and ticks not only make you miserable, they can also carry infectious diseases.

The easiest way to ward off these pests is to wear long sleeves, pants and hiking boots. But when the heat wins out and you need to dress light, heed these four tips:

  • Avoid standing water.

  • Stay away from taller grasses.

  • Use bug repellent.

  • Take a shower immediately after coming in from the outdoors.

Get out in the sun and enjoy the time with your family, but play it smart. With a little advance planning, summer sun really can mean summer fun.

GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention welcomes the opportunity to share this general information. However, this article is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.