Photo: Eight simple shortcuts to safe sun

A beach umbrella offers shading sun protection wherever you go! (Credit: 35939761@N04 via Flickr)

Sun season is here! Maximize summer fun without compromising safety with these eight shortcuts.

Eight shortcuts to safe sun

1. Don a wide-brimmed hat — Keeping hats on kids' heads can be tricky. Remember, you're being firm because you love them (and model the behavior you want to see)!

2. Wear loose-fitting, tightly knit, long-sleeved clothing — You'll be surprisingly comfortable during the dog days of summer. Some retailers specialize in apparel specially designed for UV protection.

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3. Put on broad spectrum sunglasses — More than mere fashion accessories, sunglasses play an important role in protecting your eyes.

4. Seek shade — Once you've internalized this mantra, you'll find plenty of opportunities to duck out of the sun.

5. Pay attention to the UV index — You can burn even on a cloudy day.

6. Avoid sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (peak UV hours) — Play outside in the morning and evening.

7. Take Vitamin D — Rates of melanoma — the most deadly skin cancer — are higher in cities with less year-round UV intensity. Researchers think lower levels of Vitamin D increases the risks of both sunburn and of developing skin cancer.

8. Wear safe sunscreen — This is a biggie. Check out my FAQ How to choose safe sunscreen.

We all know the sun's UVA and UVB rays are responsible in part for increasing rates of skin cancer. But you might not know that skin cancer's been rising at a rate of two per cent per year since 2000 and the incidence for first time melanoma has tripled over the past 35 years.

This may be due in part to a thinner ozone layer and more UV exposure, but the effects are compounded by other risk factors including: family history, indoor tanning, skin type, UV radiation and a history of severe sunburns (particularly in childhood).

My number one family rule: choose long sleeves, a big hat and a bit of shade whenever possible. When you need to resort to sunscreen — be sure to choose a safe option.

Tovah Paglaro, a fellow Queen of Green

July 8, 2013

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Jul 05, 2014
11:45 PM

I’ve been getting really burnt in the shade recently — avoiding sun, not near ocean or reflections from anywhere. Can someone please explain this to me.

Aug 14, 2013
11:15 AM

Congratulations, Chris Hale! You are the winner of a Radicool 100 SPF Skin. This contest is now closed.

Jul 26, 2013
7:58 AM

Definitely lying in a hammock, in the shade, reading. And then falling asleep.

Jul 25, 2013
5:16 PM

Love to walk the dog with the kids, go for family run, spend time gardening.

Jul 25, 2013
4:21 PM

My favourite summer activity is biking to the park with my guitar and playing music in the shade!

Jul 25, 2013
3:16 PM

My favorite summer activity is sitting having a picnic in the park!

Jul 25, 2013
3:14 PM

We like to hang out in the shade at our community garden. Baby in the swing and me watching her while everyone else works out in the sun!

Jul 25, 2013
2:58 PM

Our fave summer activity…hmmm, hard to choose. How about backcountry camping? Maybe canoe trips? Swimming? Early mornings iin the coulees walking the dog? So many choices, so little time!

Jul 23, 2013
9:59 AM

My favourite summer activity is to go for a walk in the park for exercise and fresh air, then reading a good book on a quiet park bench.

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