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Keep Sun Safety in Mind This Summer: Experts

SATURDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- As you enjoy outdoor activities this summer, don't forget to keep sun safety in mind.

The sun on your skin may feel nice, but it brings certain risks. For example, people who had just one major sunburn when they were a child or teen have more than double the risk of developing melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, later in life, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Dermatologists at the University of Michigan Health System offer the following tips:

  • Try to avoid being in the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • If you do go out, try to stay in shade and wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher with ingredients that protect against both UVB and UVA. It takes about one ounce (a shot glass) worth of sunscreen to cover exposed areas of the body. Don't forget to cover your ears, nose and tops of your feet.
  • Apply a sunscreen lip balm.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before exposure to the sun. Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more often if you're swimming, sweating or have toweled off.
  • Don't use sunscreen on babies aged 6 months or younger. Keep them out of direct sunlight and cover them with protective clothing and hats. Shade them with umbrellas or carrier/stroller covers.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlines the health effects of sun overexposure.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, June 30, 2011

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