Safe Fun in the Sun

Hand blocking sun
Everyone loves summer, and there is nothing more fun than being out in the sun on a hot summer day. However, the sun can also be dangerous. Prolonged exposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Sun exposure can also cause retina damage, cataracts, and even immune suppression. The main hazard of sunlight comes from its ultraviolet rays, specifically the UVA and UVB rays. UVA leads to aging, and UVB leads to burning.

A sensible combination of sunscreen, shade and proper clothing will allow us to get the most out of the sun and at the same time, minimize our risk. First, sunscreen should always be used when you are going to be outside this summer. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates use for children greater than 6 months of age. It should be rated SPF 15 or more and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. It should be generously applied to all exposed areas including the ears, back, shoulders, and the back of the knees and legs. Remember to protect your lips with lip balm containing sunscreen. Apply 30 minutes before exposure to the sun to allow sufficient time to interact with the skin, and reapply at least every 2 hours. If you’ve been swimming or sweating, apply sunscreen even more frequently. Adults should use about 35ml or 1oz of sunscreen to cover their entire body. That’s the same amount that would fit into a shot glass. Find a sunscreen that fits your budget so that you use it frequently and freely. Just because a product is expensive, doesn’t mean it works better.
Second, spend as much time in the shade as possible. This is especially important between 10AM and 4PM, when the sun’s rays are the strongest. If your shadow is shorter than you, it is time to move to the shade.
Third, the proper clothing will also help protect you. A hat should have a wide brim to protect your face, neck and ears from the sun. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Choose sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB. Clothing should be tightly woven and loose fitting, and cover as much exposed skin as possible. Just because it is cloudy does not mean that the dangers of the sun are not shining through. At least 40% of the sun’s harmful rays penetrate the clouds. Cloudy days can actually be more dangerous, since people may not be as careful to protect themselves well.
Be careful, and you’ll safely enjoy the summer rays!

Health News + Events

What to Expect With COVID-19 & Back-to-School Protocols

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in early 2020, it turned life upside down for more than 50 million school-age children across the country. In fact, according to Ed  Read More

TikTok Health Hacks: Safe or Sham?

No matter your preferred social media channel, you’ve likely seen viral health hacks for everything from congestion to snoring to weight loss. We turned to our team of certified  Read More

How to Treat a Dog Bite

Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend, but even the friendliest of creatures can sometimes get spooked or display aggressive behavior. Bites can even happen when giving an excit  Read More

What Our Patients Are Saying

Rating 4.6
Rating 4.2
Rating 4.6
Rating 5.0

"The overall care I received was excellent! I also appreciate your affiliation with Yale New Haven Hospital."

Derby, CT

"Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The Doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!"

Hamden, CT

"I had to take my son in for an ear infection following a sudden change in temperament at daycare. He was inconsolable the entire car ride but when we got there and by the time we left this care facility he was back to his normal happy go lucky little two year old boy. I highly recommend PhysicianOne Urgent Care."

Westwood, MA

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today."

Somers, NY