7 Steps to Protect Yourself from the Winter Sun

7 Steps to Protect Yourself from the Winter Sun

What outdoor activities did you do this past summer? Maybe you
went on a vacation to the beach. Maybe you spent some time
playing your favorite sports such as baseball,7 Steps to Protect Yourself from the Winter Sun Articles golf, or tennis.
Maybe you went swimming or had a barbeque in the backyard with
family and friends. Regardless of the outdoor activities you did
over the summer, most likely you were aware that it was important
to protect yourself from sun while outdoors.

Now winter is approaching. I am turning my attention to putting
away my summer items to make room for the winter ones; long
sleeve shirts for short sleeve ones, corduroy pants for shorts,
and boots for sandals. Most of the sports equipment I have been
using is going to get put away as well. But what about those
items I have been using to protect myself from the sun? Things
like my sunscreens, sunglasses, and sun protective hats and

You may be putting these items away and not using them during the
winter. The National Council of Skin Cancer Prevention reported
in their January 2003 newsletter that research shows only 3
percent of Americans routinely wear sunscreen during the fall
months, and only 2 percent during the winter months. However,
you can still get a sunburn and snow blindness during these
months. The colder temperatures do not block the UV rays and
reflections off the snow and higher altitudes can make matters
even worse. You may be causing yourself significant, long-term
damage by not properly protecting yourself.

How do you protect yourself from the winter sun (or any other
season)? Follow these simple sun safety action steps recommended
by the US Environmental Protection Agency:

1. Limit Time in the Midday Sun – The sun’s rays are strongest
between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Whenever possible, limit exposure to
the sun during these hours.

2. Wear a Hat – A hat with a wide brim offers good sun protection
to your eyes, ears, face, and the back of your neck – areas
particularly prone to overexposure to the sun.

3. Cover Up – Wearing tightly woven, loose-fitting, and full-
length clothing is a good way to protect your skin from the sun’s
UV rays.

4. Wear Sunglasses that Block 99-100% of UV Radiation –
Sunglasses that provide 99-100% UVA and UVB protection will
greatly reduce sun exposure that can lead to cataracts and other
eye damage. Check the label when buying sunglasses.

5. Always Use Sunscreen – Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher liberally on
exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, or after working, swimming,
playing, or exercising outdoors. Even waterproof sunscreen can
come off when you towel off, sweat, or spend extended periods of
time in the water.

6. Avoid Sunlamps and Tanning Parlors – The light source from
sunbeds and sunlamps damages the skin and unprotected eyes. It’s
a good idea to avoid artificial sources of UV light.

7. Watch for the UV Index – The UV Index provides important
information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that
prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National
Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, the UV Index is issued daily in
selected cities across the United States.

I am going to keep my sun protective items out to use this
winter. I am trusting that you will do the same so that you can
enjoy the outdoors while in the cold, on the ice, or in the snow.
Have a terrific and safe winter!

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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