Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sun Safety Series

To say that Southern California is a sunny region of the country is quite accurate. Although none of the cities in SoCal is in the top 10 sunniest cities in the United States(1), on average, it is sunny over 60% of the year here; that's a little over 7 months(2). Over the next several weeks, I will publish posts that highlight products my family uses to protect ourselves from the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although this is not a health blog, the public health advocate in me can't help but infuse a little bit of sun safety info in my posts. I've already begun my series with a review of Sunny Sunscreen SPF 35 by Episencial®. For more information on skin cancer and sun safety, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Why is sun safety important?
According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. Since UV rays can penetrate skin cells and cause them to change, overexposure to UV rays will lead to changes in your skin's texture and cause it to age prematurely, which leads to skin cancer. UV rays can reach your skin on any given day; whether it is sunny, hazy, or cloudy outside. UV rays can also reflect off surfaces like cement, sand, and water, and can come from sources like tanning lamps(3)

What you can do?
CDC recommends the following to protect yourself and loved ones from the sun:
1. Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) of 15+
2. Wear long sleeves shirt and long pants
3. Wear a hat with a wide brim
4. Wear sunglasses
5. Seek shade

My Experience
My son loves to play outdoors. As the weather starts to warm in SoCal - from a SoCal resident's standards - my family and I will be spending a lot more time outside. I know I can't protect my son from everything. What I do hope to do is impart him with knowledge so that he can make informed decisions as he grows up. Also, if he starts doing things at a young age, such as sun protective behavior, it may become a routine for him in the long run. My cousin-in-law is a dermatologist. She recommends using sunscreen even when I'm just driving to the grocery store. Do I always practice sun protective behavior and follow CDC's recommendations? No, but I do what I can, when I can. And that goes for my family too. FYI, Friday, May 27, 2011 is "Don't Fry Day" to encourage sun safety awareness.

Sun Safety Series Posts
Eco-friendly reusable glass water bottles
Episencial® Soothing Cream and Face Balm
Episencial® Sunny Sunscreen
LightSpeed® Quick Shelter
Sun Protection Zone DuckSkinz
Sun Protection Zone SunSkinz
Sun Protection Zone ThermoSkinz
TruKid™ Sunny Days Sunscreen


Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. Statistics and references are cited back to the sources.