The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, the solstice falls on June 21, at 6:51am EDT. The summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year.
While for many of us summer means fun in the sun with swimming, going to the beach, and barbequing; it's important to make sure you're not getting too much of a good thing. Avoid the consequences of overexposure to the sun like sunburns, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer, including melanoma by practicing proper sun protection.
The hours between 10 am and 4pm daylight savings time (9am to 3pm standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the US. UV rays are greatest during late spring and early summer in North America. A few tips for protecting yourself and your family….
- Use a sunscreen with a sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and both UVA and UVB protection. Be sure to check your sunscreen's expiration date. Sunscreen without an expiration date has a shelf life of no more than three years.
- Loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection form the sun's UV rays.
- Wear a hat with a brim all the way around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through.
- Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
- Seek shade, especially during midday hours. You can reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer by seeking shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter.
For more information on summer outdoor safety, visit the following link: