My cousin, a fellow teacher who now lives in Darwin, recently showed me this video. Many of us become so complacent about sun safety, it is good to have a reminder about how important it is to slip, slop and slap leading into the warmer months. After showing both our classes the video, we both noticed an increase of students applying sunscreen and wearing hats which was incredibly pleasing. I thought I would bring it to your attention, along with some Summer sun safe tips that we all know (but sometimes forget).
Six Ways to Keep Sun Safe This Summer
Using factor 50 sunscreen is one of the best things you can do for your skin. The video demonstrates the positive effect that it has. Don’t forget to follow the directions on the pack, reapplying at least every four hours (more often if you are swimming). Be sure to check the use by date, as it will become less effective when it reaches this date. Choose a daily moisturiser with SPF, and this will help protect your face from the sun’s rays at all times.
A broad brimmed hat is essential in the warm Australian sun. I did an edit of my favourites last Summer, and while you more than likely won’t be able to buy the same ones now, you can still get a good idea of styles and shapes. It is ideal if the hat fully shades your face, and the back of your neck. The brim shouldn’t have any holes in it, so the sun cannot get in. Caps are good for sport, but if you are going to be spending a large amount of time in the sun a broad brim is the way to go.
Make sure you are wearing a top with sleeves in order to be sun safe. If you are gardening, a polo shirt is perfect as the collar will help protect your neck. I keep an old one in my wardrobe just for this purpose. If you’re at the beach, try using a cover up like a kaftan when you’re not in the water. Some come with SPF protection built into the fabric, making them perfect for the beach.
Sunglasses are incredibly important. Ensure they have the proper level of protection (they should be at least a level 2, and should always meet Australian standards. You can see more here). I like sunglasses that have large lenses that cover the sides of my eyes. I don’t like the light coming in at the sides at all, particularly when I am driving. The Cancer Council have a great range of glasses, that have the added advantage of being fashionable. You can be assured that they all meet Australian standards.
If you’re outside, try to avoid full sun. If you’re planning to go to a busy outdoor area, try to arrive early to scope out a shady spot. We asked for a pop up shade shelter for the beach as a Christmas present a few years ago, and it is a life saver with kids. We loved it when the youngest was a baby, as she had a shady place to sleep. Now it means we can extend our day at the beach and beat the heat a little in between swims.
Book in for regular skin checks with a specialist, or get your GP to have a look. Last time I was at the doctors for other things I had her check a few moles on my back, which were thankfully benign. This is a great fact sheet that informs you how to check your skin, and important signs to watch for.
How do you stay sun safe in Summer? Do you have any tips?