Summer is almost here, which means longer days and more opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. However, as we live in a sun-drenched country, it's crucial to protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays and heat when you're out and about.
Sunburn can occur very quickly, and exposure may eventually lead to melanoma, so understanding the importance of taking protective measures while having fun is critical to safely enjoying those outdoor activities.
Here are six sun-smart habits to follow for a safe and enjoyable summer:
1. Understand UV rays
Before heading out to enjoy the sun, it's important to be aware of the risks of UV radiation. You can use the free SunSmart Global UV app, which is an Australian initiative, to find out about these risks and put sun protection advice at your fingertips. With this app, you’ll know when UV levels are high enough to damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. The best part is the app works worldwide, so you can use it no matter where you are. And it’s simple – when the index hits three, it’s time to take precautions and slip, slop, slap - slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a sunhat!
2. Wear protective clothing
Protecting yourself from the sun is essential to prevent skin cancer. One of the best ways to do so is by wearing protective clothing and sun-protective clothing, if possible. Consider suppliers such as Sun Protection Australia, Solbari and Coolibah, who make UPF50+ clothing that can protect you in style. In case you can’t afford UPF clothing, make sure to slip on a shirt to avoid exposing your skin to the sun!
3. Hats and sunglasses
It's just as important to protect your face and head with a hat and sunglasses as it is to wear appropriate clothing to cover up. A good hat will block the harmful UV rays and help to keep your head cool, while sunglasses can protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them.
This is another sun-smart way to stay safe from the sun’s harmful effects. Make sure to choose a hat that is tightly woven and covers your entire head. If possible, opt for good quality polarised sunglasses that are designed to reduce glare from light-reflecting surfaces, and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
4. Use sunscreen
If you're unable to cover up, make sure to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed skin. Use an SPF 50 sunscreen to ensure you have a layer of protection even if you’re not covered up.
Keep in mind that even when the sun’s not shining, you are still exposed to harmful UV rays. By using sunscreen every day, you can help to:
5. Seek out shade
It's wise to find a cool and shady area to relax in when the sun is blazing hot. So, if you’re taking the dog for a walk, doing some gardening, or engaging in any other outdoor activity, keep an eye out for sources of shade like trees and buildings. And, if you’re planning a day at the beach, don’t forget to bring an umbrella or a beach shade like a CoolCabana to say cool.
6. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D
While it’s important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, don’t forget the sun is the best source of Vitamin D - which is essential for strong bones and muscles. During spring and summer, you only need to expose about 25% of your body (think arms, face and legs) for around 10 minutes to get your daily dose of vitamin D. That's fast enough to avoid getting sunburnt, and your body will thank you for it, too!
Have fun under the sun
Enjoying a lovely sunny day while entertaining your friends and family is easy. But, if you feel the need to invest in some sun-smart clothing for the family or perhaps improve your outdoor area for an added layer of sun protection, we’re here to help. Just check out our cash loans to $5,000 to see how quick and easy it is to get some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours!