7 Facts about Sun Safety

Fun (the safe kind!) in the Austin Sun!

The summer season is the time Austinites run outdoors to have fun in the sun, and why not? With such a great spread of choices, you could do something new every day and never run out of choices. There’s swimming at Barton Springs, trips to Hamilton Pool, vacations, amusement parks, BBQs, and picnics in any of our great parks up in the Round Rock or Cedar Park area.

It’s all fun, but you have to prepare for sun exposure if you’re going to be outdoors. The last thing you want to do is put you or your family at risk from too much. Many may not realize how dangerous the sun can be, so consider the following facts before you step outside:

  • About 23 percent of lifetime sun exposure occurs before the age of 18. (Summer Safety) That means kids who spend time out in the sun are definitely going to be at risk for skin cancer when they are older.
  • It’s possible to get a sunburn even if it’s cloudy outside. Don’t make the mistake of forgoing the sunblock just because you can’t see the sun.
  • Certain surfaces can actually reflect the sunlight back on you. These surfaces include concrete, water, and sand.
  • Sunscreen takes about half an hour before the chemicals can begin working to protect the skin. It’s best to ensure the sun block dries thoroughly before getting in the water.
  • The sunlight does get stronger during certain times of the day. Experts recommend that you stay out of the sun between the hours of ten in the morning and four in the afternoon.
  • There’s an easy formula to help you understand SPF on sunscreen. All it does is multiply your natural ability to protect from the sun. So, if you tend to burn in about 30 minutes and you choose SPF 15 sunblock, this gives you about 450 minutes of sun protection. You need to reapply sunblock before that time is up.
  • Babies under the age of six months should not be out in the sun. Babies older than six months need sunblock applied regularly because their skin is more sensitive than an adult’s.

The sun is a beautiful thing, especially in a great city like Austin, but make sure you take steps to protect yourself from sun damage.