How to Stay Safe in the Sun

Summer poses certain risks to the health of New Yorkers. In addition to heat-related illness, water-related injuries, exacerbation of asthma, and mosquito- and tick-borne diseases, sun exposure is also a health risk.


Sunburns and tans are a result of too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (rays) from the sun. Even when a sunburn or tan fades, the damage caused to skin cells does not, and the effects cannot be reversed. These effects include early aging of the skin (wrinkles, age spots, etc.) and skin cancers.


Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer – accounting for nearly half of all cancer cases. Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
Here are a few ways to stay safe in the sun.


Cover Up
When you are out in the sun, wear long-sleeves, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Wear sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of ultraviolet (UV) light.


Stay in the shade
The suns rays are the strongest between 10 am and 2pm. Try and stay out of direct sunlight.


Use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
Choose a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 more. Apply it to all exposed skin when you’re outside, even if it is cloudy. Make sure to reapply every few hours and after heavy sweating or swimming.


Avoid tanning beds
Indoor tanning is dangerous because it exposes you to high levels of ultraviolet radiation in a short time. Tanning beds are much more intense than natural sun exposure. If you want to look tan, consider using spray or a self-tanning product in addition to sunscreen.