Now that it’s officially spring and with summer around the corner, we are finally satisfying that yearning for some sun rays.
Going out in the sun has a positive mental and health impact. Being out in the sun helps the body produce its own vitamin D. We know that vitamin D is a key nutrient for our bodies in maintaining
good health, and being cooped up indoors less means we are less likely to become
ill with the colds and flus.
However, as with all things, moderation is the key. With sun exposure, it is especially important to protect your skin and your children’s skin. The dangers of sun exposure are well known. Recently, the BBC reported that skin cancer rates were linked to the package holiday boom, as suggested in reports by Cancer Research UK. The article noted that people over 65 are diagnosed with more skin cancers each year compared to figures in the mid-1970s, and this could be attributed to the interest in holiday packages and tanning salons. Therefore, any time spent in the sun, regardless of the location (tropical beach or at home), should be limited. Appropriate sun-protection measures should be taken, including:
- Wearing sunscreen (at least SPF 15 – the stronger, the more protection you will get; also look for water-resistant products for the added benefit that your sunscreen will stay on while swimming or sweating).
- Covering up (wear light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing and a hat to provide coverage).
- Limiting time in the sun (especially when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are at their strongest, generally, between 11 am and 2 pm).
Even if it’s a cloudy day, the sun’s UV rays can still be dangerous to your skin, so be sure to check the UV Index with your local weather news. Health Canada advises using sun protection measures when the UV Index is 3 or higher.
Importantly for parents: young babies and children have sensitive skin which can be damaged more easily by UV rays. So if you plan a day trip, are on holiday in a tropical setting, or are just going out for a stroll, please be sure to apply sunscreen on your child or baby and keep the sunscreen with you for reapplication. Health Canada recommends applying sunscreen 20 minutes before going out, then 20 minutes after going outside and at least every 2 hours after that. Always apply a generous amount.
Overall, summer fun brings fun in the sun but please remember to be sensible. Protect your skin and limit exposure when possible to keep your skin healthy!
Vitarock offers a variety of sun care and sunscreen products for adults, children and babies. Check it out and see what is right for you!