Beware of the Sun!

We are entering the season when people spend a lot of time outdoors, often dressed very lightly.  What many people don’t know is that we are also entering a season where the ultraviolet index can be very high, which means that someone can get burned very badly in short span of time.  Go to

http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html

to see a national map of UV levels.  You can also sign up there to receive email alerts when the UV index is forecasted to be high in your area.

This is very important to me, because a friend of mine who worked outdoors all the time died of melanoma, skin cancer, a few years ago.  It is impossible to say that exposure to the Sun was the reason, but I remember seeing him after a full day of work with boils half an inch high on his arms.  I warned him that he was putting himself at risk of getting skin cancer by burning himself so badly over and over, and that he should wear protective clothing, but he paid me no mind.

Although it seems counterintuitive, wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants, and a wide brimmed hat can actually keep one cooler than dressing down to skin.  Light colors reflect the eneregy of the Sun, wheras dark colors absorb that energy.  The cooling effect is more pronounced if the clothing is loose fitting.

Although tanning helps to prevent burning, tanning ages the skin, resulting in wrinkles and  dry skin.  Wearing sun screen is essential when swimming, unless you happen to own an 1890’s swim outfit.  The higher in elevation you are, the more UV you receive.

Protect yourself.  Because the Sun can kill you.

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