Summer is approaching and the days are getting longer. The hot sun makes for lots of fun with family, but beware of too much exposure! In order to maximize enjoyment and minimize ill health effects, we’ve compiled some helpful tips to keep your family safe in the sun and at night!

This first tip is simple: get outside and enjoy some great outdoor activities with the family. Some of our personal favorites include:

  • Local Beaches
  • Pools
  • Playgrounds
  • Backyard obstacle course

Our second tip is to continuously apply sun protection, no matter the color of someone’s skin. If skin is lighter, it produces less melanin. This means that it is more prone to UV rays. However darker skin, or even a “base tan”, can still be damaged by the sun. As always keep sunscreen on hand and apply it regularly throughout the day. Even on cloudy days UV rays could be very dangerous. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that all kids regardless of their skin tone wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure you are applying before and after swimming and try to have a water proof sunscreen option available.

While you are outside try to find some time to let your skin cool off under a relaxing spot in the shade. We know this can be difficult with family trips to the beach or pool days. However, try and find a rest or picnic area under some trees or consider purchasing an umbrella.

Nighttime can be just as tricky to deal with in the summer. Be prepared to enjoy summer nights and bon fires with some insect repellant. These are not just annoying little bugs. They can pose a serious threat if carrying a disease or if its target has an allergen to certain types of bites. As always, read insect repellant or anti-itch medication labels, only apply it to exposed skin and clothing, and supervise children applying repellant. Be sure that you do not inhale sprays and use your hands for hard to reach areas while avoiding eyes, ears, and open cuts. When you are done applying, wash your skin with soap and water to remove any creams or sprays.

If you are preparing a longer trip, make sure you have both sun screen and insect repellant on hand. It will make your days and nights much more enjoyable.

Finally, the not so common, but very important check: medications! Many skin and acne medications, as well as antibiotics, can make the skin more sensitive to the sun. Check all medication, including those that are over the counter, to make sure there are no warnings or side effects that could cause harm due to prolonged sun exposure. If you are unsure, please give us a call or talk to your local pharmacist.

Enjoy summer, have some fun, and be safe!