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Press Release Archive (2014)

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May 5-11th: National Sun Safety Week

It's a fact: Overexposure to the sun can result in skin cancer later in life

Sun Safety Alliance logoWhat are your family's risks from exposure to powerful UV rays? Consider these facts and statistics.

The Dangers of UV Exposure:

  • You can sunburn even on a cloudy day.
  • On average, children get 3 times more exposure than adults.
  • Concrete, sand, water, and snow reflect 85% to 90% of the sun's UV rays.
  •  Depletion of Earth's ozone continues to increase your exposure to UV rays.

Skin Cancer

  • In some parts of the world, melanoma is increasing at rates faster than any other cancer.
  • More than 1.2 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the US.
  •  Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills one person every hour.
  • One blistering sunburn can double a child's lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.

Sun Safety Tips

  1. Insect Repellants reduce sunscreen's SPF by up to 1/3. When using a combination, use a sunscreen with a higher SPF!
  2. Over exposure to the sun's harmful rays can result in sunburns which increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, check your local UV Index which provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. The UV Index forecast is issued each afternoon by the National Weather Service and EPA.
  3. Seek the shade whenever possible! The sun's UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so remember the shadow rule when in the sun: If your shadow is short it's time to abort and seek the shade!.
  4. Don't be deceived by color or cost of Sunglasses! The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the darkness of the lens or the price tag. While both plastic and glass lenses absorb some UV light, UV absorption is improved by adding certain chemicals to the lens material during manufacturing or by applying special lens coatings. Always choose sunglasses that are labeled as blocking 99-100% of UV rays. Some manufacturers' labels will say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption. Look before you choose!
  5. Sunburn doesn't only happen during the summer! Water, snow, concrete and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn. Protect yourself year round by using sunscreen with protection from both UVA and UVB rays, and an SPF of 15 or greater. 
  6. Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply often.
  7. Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off.
  8. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen on the exposed areas of your skin whenever possible!
  9. Do not use sun tanning beds.
  10. Keep very young children (6 months or less) out of the sun.

Are You Using Sunscreen Correctly?

How should sunscreens be applied?
Follow directions and shake the bottle before using. Thoroughly rub sunscreen over skin to make sure the coverage is even. Make sure all skin is covered (including neck, ears and lips). For people with thin or thinning hair, apply sunscreen to the scalp as well.

How much should be applied?
Sunscreen should be applied liberally and evenly to all exposed areas before sun or water exposure.

When should I apply sunscreen?
Before doing any outside activities. Whenever you're spending time outdoors—and not just in the pool! (for picnics, walks, hiking, riding in a car, etc)

How often should sunscreen be applied?
Reapply sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, and toweling off. Reapply sunscreen often!

What Is SPF?
"SPF" stands for "Sun Protection Factor." Indicates how much longer a person wearing sunscreen can stay in the sun before beginning to burn—than they would without using any sunscreen at all. SPF numbers generally range from 2 to 50. The American Academy of Dermatology and the Sun Safety Alliance (SSA) recommend an SPF of 15 or higher. For children, the SSA recommends sunscreen product with an SPF of 30.

What strength of sunscreen is best?
Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you're outdoors. For children under 6 years of age, the SSA recommends sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Older children should use sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher.

Block the Sun, Not the Fun!

Learn more by visiting the Sun Safety Alliance website.

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