Under the Summer Sun – Be SunWise

EPA's SunWise program logoWith summer in full swing, it’s the perfect chance to be outside as much as possible. But you should be mindful of a few things before complete summer abandon takes over your life. When you’re spending so much time outside, it’s important to protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun. You don’t want to grow up with lots of wrinkles or skin cancer because you keep getting tanned or sunburned! Here are a few great steps from the EPA’s SunWise site to keep you protected:

  • Seek Shade – even when you’re at the beach or playing soccer, take time to relax under a tree or bring a big beach umbrella.
  • Wear a Hat – a hat with a wide brim is a great way to protect your face and neck. You can also rock an eco-friendly hat too, like this one made out of recycled plastic grocery bags.
  • Wear Sunglasses – make sure they block all UV rays and feel free to find a pair made out of recycled plastic or sustainable wood like these:
  • Watch for the UV Index – it’s a forecast of how intense the sun’s rays will be. Use it to plan activities to prevent overexposure to the sun.
  • Avoid Sunlamps and Tanning Parlors – though it’s tempting to have a year round tan, this will continue to damage your skin. And this season, pale is in!
  • Always Apply Sunscreen – there are so many sun protection products for your face and body, you’ll be able to pick the right kind for you. Don’t forget to re-apply often.
  • Cover Up! – beach cover-ups and loose-fitting long sleeves are the best way to keep your skin protected and still keep cool.
  • Limit Time in the Midday Sun – between 10am and 4pm is when the sun is at its peak. This is the time when you need to keep all the above ideas in mind or stay out of the sun.

Since a trip to the beach is usually a given when making plans in the summer, and look up some of the fun beach cleanup activities or start your own World Water Monitoring Day if one hasn’t been started near you. These are just a few great ways to make sure that the water you play in is safe for everyone.

As always, the EPA High School (site is a great place to find all you need to know about these topics and more.

About the author: Kim Blair is currently an intern with Environmental Education and Indoor Air Programs in Region 5. She has an extensive environmental education background and is enjoying using her previous experience at the EPA. She has been working with the EE coordinator on facilitating grants and the Web Workgroup along with getting hands-on experience working on a geographic initiative in Northeast Indiana with the Indoor Air Programs.

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