July is UV Safety Awareness month and the perfect time to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from sun exposure this summer.
Looking for tips on how to stay safe from harmful UV rays? Be sure to have the proper sunscreen, clothing, hat, sunglasses, and shade to avoid injuries. And follow along here this month as we continue to add helpful tips on how to limit your sun exposure.
Employees and their family members can visit one of Tulane’s onsite employee wellness clinics to learn how to protect themselves. For more information on all your safe and cool summer resources, visit the Tulane Living Well Clinics or call to schedule an appointment at either location listed below.
Uptown Clinic: 504-988-8935
Downtown Clinic: 504-988-4325
According to the American Cancer Association, the best way to protect yourself is to limit exposure to UV rays. How? The best way is to stay in the shade! Alternatively, you can keep yourself covered with clothes or a hat, slather on broad-spectrum sunscreen, and wear UV-blocking sunglasses. Be sure to take the appropriate precautions every day, even if it's cloudy.
Many people only pay attention to sun exposure on days at the beach or spent all day out in the sun but UV protection should be a daily consideration.
It's also common to not apply enough sunscreen, which means you get less actual protection. Make sure you apply enough sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.
In addition, keep in mind that no sunscreen can protect you completely, which is why additional protection items—like a hat, long sleeves, and sunglasses—are key to limiting exposure. Consider putting these items by your door or in a place where you're reminded to bring them along daily.
Always look for sunscreen products that are labeled broad spectrum. This means they have been tested and shown to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Typically, an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended. While the higher the SPF, or sun protection factor, the higher the UVB protection, it is a sliding scale. Sunscreen can also come in many forms—lotions, sprays, balms, etc.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, sunglasses are a "must-have" to protect your eyes from the sun's rays in any season. But keep in mind—not all sunglasses are created equal. Always be sure to wear sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays. Blocking both of these UV rays can help avoid both immediate and long-term damage to your eyes.