Sun Safety Tips from EWG
Last weekend it was cloudy and overcast and only in the 90’s (hey—this is Arizona!) so I took my boys to the park. Because of all the clouds I didn’t even think about sunscreen, but after we were at the park for a few minutes the sky cleared and the sun blazed. After being in and out of the sun for about an hour, we went home. That’s when I noticed my youngest had a sunburned neck. I felt SO bad I had forgotten all about sunscreen. Although I’m not an Arizona native, I should have known better. Cloudy summer days can still be harsh on skin.
One of my assignments for this week just happened to be for EWG—a great reminder for this repentant mom. This summer, Environmental Working Group (EWG) is spreading the message of sun safety. Are you familiar with that organization?
It’s a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. The EWG mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.
This summer, the message EWG is focusing on is about sun safety. Skin cancer is the most common form of all U.S. cancers and melanoma cases have tripled over the last 35 years, but most Americans behave as if it can’t happen to them.
EWG points out that it’s critical that we begin thinking proactively about sun safety to reverse the alarming escalating skin cancer trend. They are offering some great summer safety tips:
- Wear clothes: shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays, reducing risk by 27%.
- Find shade – or make it: Picnic under a tree or take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade, reducing the risk of multiple burns by 30%.
- Sunglasses are essential: Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation.
- Plan around the sun: Go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.
- Don’t get burned: Red, sore, blistered skin means you’ve gotten far too much sun.
- Check the UV index: The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent sun overexposure.
The EWG campaign points out that sunscreen is important, but it shouldn’t be your only protection from the sun, which is what many of us rely on. Sunscreen should actually be your last resort!
Additionally, many sunscreen products provide inadequate protection plus they use ingredients that have been linked to endocrine disruption and other negative health impacts. As a mom, this disturbs me.
EWG has a helpful list of the best products that provide broad spectrum protection (from UVA and UVB rays) as well as fewer ingredients of concern. Find out more by signing up for their free guide.
The best defense against too much sun is protective clothing, shade and timing. And do remember to check your skin for new moles that are tender or growing. Maybe ask your doctor how often you should check in with a dermatologist.
This is a great reminder to help all of us take better care of our kids—and ourselves.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of EWG Sun Safety. The opinions and text are all mine.
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