Public Health reminds residents to stay safe in the sun

Written by Theresa Rose on June 30, 2020

Henry County Public Health reminds residents to practice sun safety while outdoors this summer.  Holiday weekends are often celebrated with outdoor activities, but you can take steps to avoid getting a sunburn and reduce your risk of skin cancer.  Sunscreen is not just for the pool or the beach but should be used to protect your skin anytime you’re outside.  The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to stay safe in the sun:

  • The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try to keep out of the sun during those hours.
  • Most of the sun’s rays can come through the clouds on an overcast day; so use sun protection even on cloudy days.
  • When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words “broad-spectrum” on the label – it means that the sunscreen will protect against both ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen and reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or towel drying.
  • Use a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. The additional benefits of using sunscreen with SPF 50+ are limited.
  • Rub sunscreen in well, making sure to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands, and even the backs of the knees.
  • Put on sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors – it needs time to work on the skin.

With the holiday weekend approaching, Henry County Public Health also reminds residents that social distancing remains one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus.  Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you—or they—have no symptoms.  Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including people age 65 and older and people with underlying medical conditions.

Enjoy the holiday weekend while practicing safe habits.  To learn more about sun safety tips visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm.  For guidance related to COVID-19 visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.