Sun Safety 101

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With summer upon us, the days are longer and warmer, which naturally invites our bodies outdoors to play. Fun in the sun can make for great memories but one thing you don’t want hanging around is skin cancer. Prevention of Canada's deadliest cancer is simple yet many people forget the basics. We’ve rounded up the best facts and tips to keep you and your family sun safe this summer.

Tanning

Contrary to what society thinks, there is no such thing as a healthy glow. Tanned skin is damaged skin and when the colour fades, the damage is still there in the layers of skin underneath. Avoid indoor tanning at all costs as it is a known carcinogen. The Canadian Cancer Society suggests opting for sunless tans such as creams and sprays. Though these creams may create colour, you'll still need to use sun protection outside. Online DIY sunscreen recipes are widely available and sound great for saving money, but the CCS does not recommend making your own sunscreen. Leave that job to the pros.

Beware the Invisible Sun

Although you may not feel a strong sun, it’s still there. Your skin is still exposed to ultraviolet rays even on cloudy days or winter! Your vulnerability to the sun increases if you have light-coloured skin, eyes and hair, had blistering sunburns as a child, or take medication that make you more sensitive to UV light. This is especially the case for seniors as their skin becomes more delicate and daily prescriptions are common.

Children

The sun is strongest between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. so plan your outdoor activities around those times. If you are going out with a little one, give them plenty of shade, water and make sure the sunscreen you’re using is safe for their skin. Avoid using baby oil used as a moisturizer on your child before they go outside as it multiplies the effects of the sun on their skin.

Fun Sunny Day Activities with the Kids

Sunscreen Dance Party!

Play music and have the kids dance around. When the music stops they must apply sunscreen to a part of their body (i.e. ears). This dance party continues until they have applied sunscreen to all exposed skin.

Hat Decorating

Buy a plain bucket hat and have the kids decorate it. They will want to proudly wear the hat to show off their design.

Build the Shade

Set up a tent outside or even build a fort with your kids. Their imaginations will keep them busy inside the shade, safe from the sun.

 

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