As things begin to open up throughout New Hampshire and the rest of the United States, it comes when the weather is starting to become warmer and more likable.
Kids’ sports leagues are almost at full steam, even if it comes with debatable conditions that don’t seem to make much sense. That’s not an opinion, but follows different health and safety guidelines from both New Hampshire Public Health and the Center for Disease Control, commonly known as the CDC.
According to newly published guidelines by the CDC for vaccinated people, outdoor activities can be resumed to nearly pre-pandemic levels, and some indoor activities may be safe.
And with the weather turning warmer, it means a lot more people will be outdoors having picnics, playing in the park, spectating sporting events, and taking in live shows.
All that outdoor activity means that weather and sun protection should be in front of the mind. To best protect yourself from the elements, including the damage from the UV light of the sun, it’s recommended that you spend less time in direct sunlight, regardless of sunscreen level of protection.
While there are some health benefits of sunlight, such as Vitamin D and elevated moods due to the brain releasing more serotonin, a mood-enhancing chemical, there are many concerns to be aware of.
However, too much sun exposure can lead to a higher risk of many types of cancers, so knowing how to get the health benefits while minimizing the risks is crucial.
It’s recommended that every time you step outside, you should have a procedure of covering yourself, relax in the shade, use the correct type of sunscreen, shield your little ones, and at all costs avoid tanning beds.
It’s recommended that for prolonged sun exposure, cover your body as much as you can. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and protect your head and neck as much as possible. In fact, it’s recommended that you wear a wide-brimmed hat to wrap your head and shoulders.
Relax In The Shade
Between the peak sun exposure, hours of 10 am to 4 pm, it’s recommended that you find shade to play and relax under.
Shade helps block much of the UVA and UVB rays. The main difference between Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays (UVA and UVB) is that UVB rays produce painful sunburns. In contrast, UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin tissue.
It’s best to avoid both as much as possible, and shade works to block much of both types of rays from reaching your body.
There are various ways to get shade from surrounding buildings, trees, and tall objects, as well as specially designed pop-up tents. You can also get a custom tent and canopy that is built with UV protection as well.
Understand Your Sunscreen
Sunscreen acts as a temporary barrier between your skin and the types of harmful UV rays. As it serves as a temporary barrier, activity can wash away sunscreen, and sweat can cause it to lose efficiency. It is best to consider sunscreen as temporary protection, not the only protection needed.
There are different levels of sun protection known as SPF, and the higher the SPF number, the more time you can spend in direct sunlight before needing to reapply.
Other things to know about your sunscreen:
- Is it waterproof?
- Is it “broad spectrum?” – broad spectrum means that the particular sunscreen brand will protect both UVA and UVB rays.
- Is it designed for sensitive skin?
The problem with sunscreen is that too many people think you apply it once, and that’s good enough. The reality is that you should follow directions and reapply earlier than the time recommended.
Protect The Little Ones
Kids’ bodies are not as developed as adults, and just as with other types of potential issues, sun exposure at a young age can lead to some serious health concerns down the road.
It’s recommended that infants under six months should barely be exposed to the sun, while kids over six months should wear protective covering and at that age may begin to have sunscreen applied. Be sure that the specific sunscreen you choose is designed for the appropriate age of your child.
Avoid Tanning Beds
Tanning beds use artificial UV lights in close proximity to your skin and can lead to severe skin damage over time. It’s recommended to avoid tanning beds at all costs.
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