Always be sun-wise after sunrise




STARKVILLE -- Who doesn''t enjoy spending hot summer days splashing in a pool, fishing at the lake, playing volleyball in the sand, or grilling hot dogs on the patio?


While all are warm-weather favorites, they also are easy ways to receive skin damage from the sun''s harmful rays.


"Experts now are advising a minimum of 15 minute exposures to the sun twice a week to absorb enough vitamin D for good health," says Joyce Yates, of the Mississippi State University Longest Health Center. "However, over-exposure may damage skin beyond repair and cause skin cancers, including life threatening melanoma."



To be sun-wise, Yates points to the American Cancer Society''s steps for sun protection:



  • Wear protective clothing. If you can see through the fabric, the damaging ultraviolet rays can get through also.


  • Apply sunscreen with a minimum protection factor of 15. The SPF number represents the level of protection against UVB rays; the higher the number, the more protection.


  • Wear a hat with at least a 2- or 3-inch brim.


  • Use only sunglasses labeled with UV blockage capability.


  • Limit midday exposure, especially direct sunlight between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


  • Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps; both give out UVA and UVB rays.


  • Be especially cautious with babies younger than 6 months; always use hats and protective clothing.





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