Be sun smart
London Community News
As we head into the Victoria Day long weekend, thoughts of gardening, outdoor recreation and other fun-in-the-sun activities become forefront in our mind.
With the cold days of winter not far behind, the concept of sun safety may not be resonating as strongly as it does mid-way through the heady heat of summer.
Dr. Scott Ernst, head of medical oncology at London Health Sciences Centre’s London Regional Cancer Program, is encouraging people to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays and to keep an eye on their skin.
“Melanoma is one of the most rapidly rising cancers,” Ernst said in a recent media release. “It’s expected that there will be 5,500 new cases in Canada this year.”
There are a few simple tips you can follow to protect you and your family, including:
• Scheduling outdoor physical activities when UV rays are at their weakest, before 11 a.m. and after 4 p.m.;
•Always keep children under the age of one out of the sun.
• Remember that skin doesn’t have to be hot to burn, so don’t be fooled by cloudy or overcast weather;
• Remember too that water, snow, sand and concrete can reflect and increase the sun’s burning rays;
• Cover children’s heads, necks and ears with a broad-brimmed hat when outdoors;
• Protect arms and legs with tightly woven, loose fitting, cotton clothing;
• Children should wear a T-shirt over their bathing suit, and long shorts instead of short shorts;
• Wear UVA/UVB protective sunglasses — children can wear them too;
• Apply sunscreen generously before all outdoor physical activities. Remember to apply at least 20 minutes before sun exposure. Re-apply often, as perspiration will reduce the effectiveness.