The weather in Cincinnati has been so hit-and-miss, but I think it's finally safe to say that summer is HERE! I spent some time recently getting my daughter, Penelope, ready for her very first year of summer camp! It's through her school, and every Tuesday is Water Day! Of course, they sent home a list of what she needed: a thermos for water, sunscreen, and towel. Easy peasy. Well, kind of. Some people may not know this about me, but I am kind of a maniac when it comes to sunscreen. I am seriously that person who reapplies ALL THE TIME. It drives my partner, Scott, nuts because he always has to rub it on my back but I told him to just wait until I'm older and still have super young-looking skin, ha!
This is our first summer sending Penelope to summer camp, and just like all of the other parents out there, I don't want her to get sunburned. We put sunscreen on her before she goes to school, and the school reapplies throughout the day, but I was curious to find out some actual guidelines to protect her skin for the summer, and mine too.
Right here on Healthspirations was a great place to start, of course, so I did a search on sunscreen, and boom, up popped an article by Philip Leming, MD, from The Christ Hospital Hematology & Oncology, called 5 Tips to Protect Your Skin this Summer.
Dr. Leming offered some really great tips that were new to me:
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours. It's a good idea to reapply sunscreen every two hours, regardless of what the bottle says. This tip is especially important if you've been sweating or swimming because no sunscreen is truly waterproof. Don't forget to cover your scalp, tops of your ears and the back of your hands.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours. Try to stay out of the sun from from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., peak ultraviolet (UV) hours. Find (or create) a shady spot where you can sit out of the sun If you'll be outside during this time.
- Wear sun-protective clothing. Choose darker, tightly woven fabrics - a white t-shirt only provides SPF 4. Rash guards or swim shirts are a good option if you'll be in the water. Sunscreen, combined with a protective hat and clothing, provides the ultimate protection from the sun.
- At the very least, don't burn. Your risk for developing melanoma increases every time you get a sunburn. Your risk doubles if you've had a sunburn more than five times. Melanoma causes the majority of skin cancer deaths, so do what you can to avoid sunburns.
- NEVER ever use a tanning bed. They exponentially increase your risk of melanoma!
Reading these made me realize that I do have some changes to make both for me and my daughter, Penelope. Adding a long-sleeved swim shirt and applying sunscreen every two hours will now be a part of our outdoor summer adventures.
Stay safe out there my friends!
Are their skin-related or other health concerns on your mind this summer? Schedule an appointment online with a primary care physician near you!